The National University of Science and Technology (MISiS) has presented a multi-metal 3D printing technology. Uses of metal 3D printing include, for instance, the production of medical equipment, along with a potential demand for it in the aerospace industry.
The method allows printing multi-metal parts with a single printer even if the metals do not belong to the same group or are too difficult to machine. Moreover, using metals unsuitable for processing at metal works is also possible.
MISiS researchers upgraded an AddSol 3D printer – a Russian development that is three times cheaper than foreign solutions – and adapted it to their needs. Additionally, the scientists developed special additives and catalysts, thereby ensuring the cost-efficiency of the process. They have eventually ended up with a versatile technology that reduces the cost of industrial metal 3D printing by approximately 30%.
This new device is particularly effective in manufacturing permanent magnets from neodymium-iron-boron powder. An initially expensive and multi-stage process has become significantly easier to maintain through switching to 3D printing. Besides, objects and materials can take almost any form, regardless of the complexity, if using additive manufacturing. Typical applications of the magnets include electric generators and motors, hence strong demand in aircraft construction and automaking.
Let us recall that SMTU researchers have designed an ИЛИСТ L+ 3D printer. It prints with titanium and nickel alloys, stainless and high-strength steels.