Possibilities for the additive production of stainless steel

There is not THE 3D printing method, but many different technologies. In this application example, the various possibilities for the production of stainless steel components using 3D printing are presented and the factors on which the choice of technology depends are named.

There is not THE 3D printing method, but many different technologies. In addition, these are often combined with traditional manufacturing processes, which are referred to as an indirect process. This creates a large number of possibilities for manufacturing compone


An example: Production of stainless steel components

In this application example we assume that components should be made of stainless steel. Which AM technology should be used for this? A variety of options are available:

  • Direct production with laser melting: metal powder is fused directly with a laser beam
  • Direct production with electron beam melting: metal powder is fused directly with an electron beam
  • Direct production with Direct Energy Deposition: Metal powder is "blown" onto the workpiece in a process gas and fused directly with a laser.
  • Indirect production with binder jetting and sintering: Metal powder is bonded using a binder. The resulting green compact is then sintered and infiltrated.
  • Indirect production with binder jetting and sand casting: Sand is bonded using a binder and a mould is produced for the casting.
  • Indirect production with stereolithography and investment casting: A master model is produced using stereolithography. Based on this, lost wax models are produced, which are used in investment casting.
  • Indirect production with material jetting and investment casting: The lost wax patterns for investment casting are produced directly using material jetting.


Factors in technology selection

The technologies all have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of the right technology depends on various factors:

  • Component volume: Component volume is a strong cost driver in additive manufacturing; less in traditional production. Therefore, indirect processes are used for large components.
  • Complexity: Basically, the complexity is not very limited - nevertheless, all procedures have their limitations. Especially in indirect processes where additive and traditional methods are combined, various points have to be considered.
  • Mechanical and chemical requirements
  • Number
  • Lead time

Want to know more about which AM technology or technology combination is right for your application? Get in touch with us without obligation.

Further info
Service groups:
Services for manufacturers
    Consulting additive manufacturing

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