Low cost 3D printer that prints high-carbon steel

3D Printing process: Selective Powder Deposition (SPD)

Metal and support powders cost: about $5 per pound.

Build volume of the printer: about 300x300x100 mm.

Horizontal resolution: 0.05mm

Vertical resolution, aka layer thickness: 0.3mm

Pourer diameter: 1mm

Min height of a detail: 0.3mm (that's one layer)

Min width of a detail: 1mm (that's one pourer diameters)


Besides high-carbon steel, what other metals are supported?
Mild steel and copper-silver-gold-nickel alloys should be possible too. We need to obtain the powders to test. Mild steel and nickel would also require a higher temperature kiln. Others metals, like aluminum, stainless, titanium, would require more research and a kiln with controlled atmosphere, like vacuum and argon.

What's the shrinkage?
We have not notice any shrinkage, though there is about 2% shape distortion due to thermal expansion of the steel crucible. We are researching ceramic crucibles, with much lower thermal expansion, which should reduce or even eliminate the problem.

What's the print time?
Print time very much depends on the size and complexity of the object. Rough average would be about 20 hours.

Is there any post-processing required?
Yes. After filling the crucible with the powders, you would need to bake it in a kiln. For high-carbon steel the temperature is 1250°C, hold time is 3 hours.

What kind of kiln is required?
A cone 10 kiln with digital controller is recommended. A cone 8 might work as well. (A new kiln would cost you about $1000. A used one you might find for a few hundred.)

Where can I buy the printer?
If you live in continental US, you can pre-order the printer for $5000 plus shipping. Estimated shipping time is 2 months from receipt of the payment. For details, please contact us by email.

Where can I buy the consumables? (metal powders, support powders, crucibles...)
We don't make, sell or profit on consumables. You can buy consumables from 3rd parties. The powders should have particle size of about 50-100 microns to flow though 1mm hole properly. The crucibles should withstand the baking temperature. The best consumables for Selective Powder Deposition are made by TriDPrinting.com - please contact them directly.

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