New 3D Printing Process Allows Multiple Metals on Single Printer

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Russian researchers from The National University of Science and Technology MISiS Catalyst laboratory in Moscow have developed a new process that allows you to print multiple metals on the same printer. According to the university press release, this new technology will allow for a wider range of metallic elements to be used for printing. This means that there will be more options for alloys, which will create a better product.

This is big news. Generally speaking, different types of metals have different printing requirements. This means that the machine needs to be reconfigured significantly when switching between metals.

The Russian company Addsol has a metal printer that researchers have modified so that it can print a variety of metals, both reactive and non-reactive. This means that engineers now have a whole range of alloys to choose from when creating new objects. This is possible because of a range of catalysts and additives that have been developed by researchers.

This printer has been modified to print a range of metals (Image Credit: Addsol)

The researchers say that with this new system, they can print any metal. This includes magnesium, which is a metal that tends to flare up and burn when heat is applied. In general, magnesium printing needs saline fluxes to stop the metal from igniting. However, with the new process, the researchers are able to print the reactive metal by changing a few printer settings and adjusting the blower system.

The team hopes to print medical implants with magnesium. This will include maxillofacial implants and bone fixators.

The researchers say that their modified machine can also be used to make titanium nickelide and neodymium-iron-boron.

The former is valued for its superelasticity and shape memory properties. It has applications in the medical field. The latter is used for the manufacture of magnets. The researchers claim that their new process for making magnets will make the process a lot easier. The printer is being tested by printing different copper and bronze alloys. These metals are becoming more popular in rocket engines because they have better thermal properties.

The researchers say that using the locally built and modified metal printer will make it possible to manufacture alloys for 30% cheaper than with other commercial metal printers.

The Addsol printer that has been modified is of the SLM (selective laser melting) variety, for those who are curious, and you can learn more about their low cost metal printing solutions over at this link.

I hope that the research team will publish their findings in more detail in the near future.

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