Desktop Metal qualifies 4140 low-alloy steel for high-volume additive manufacturing

Desktop Metallic, a supplier of mass-production additive-manufacturing (AM) options, has certified the usage of 4140 low-alloy metal for the Manufacturing System platform, which leverages patent-pending Single Go Jetting (SPJ) know-how designed to attain the quickest construct speeds within the metallic additive manufacturing business.

Desktop Metallic is the primary and solely firm to qualify 4140 low-alloy metal to be used with metallic binder jetting techniques, enabling its use in mass manufacturing end-use half purposes.

Thought of probably the most versatile low-alloy steels, 4140 is a essential all-purpose and heat-treatable metal used extensively in quite a lot of automotive, oil and fuel, and industrial purposes, corresponding to gears, downhole device elements, couplings, spindles, bolts and nuts, and lots of different mechanical elements.


Energy steering joint. Supply: Desktop Metallic.

4140 has been a difficult materials for metallic binder jetting due to its low alloyed content material, tight carbon management necessities, and low ignition power, which collectively require superior binder chemistry, in addition to in depth printing and sintering optimization and atmospheric controls for secure processing.

We’re excited to be the primary to qualify 4140 for metallic binder jetting to allow this versatile materials for the AM business. With the pace of the Manufacturing System, companies can now use binder jetting to print advanced 4140 elements at aggressive prices whereas sustaining the power and mechanical properties of historically manufactured alternate options. It is a game-changing answer for producers who’ve been tied to time-consuming and costly machining and traditional tool-based manufacturing processes.

—Jonah Myerberg, co-founder and CTO of Desktop Metallic

Desktop Metallic’s supplies science crew has validated that 4140 low-alloy metal printed on Manufacturing System know-how and sintered by Desktop Metallic meets MPIF 35 requirements for structural powder metallurgy elements set by the Metallic Powder Industries Federation.

4140 elements printed on the Manufacturing System platform not solely remove the usage of tooling and reduce materials waste, but in addition signify a major lower in manufacturing time and half price in comparison with typical manufacturing strategies.

Pattern purposes embody:

  • Energy Steering Joint. This joint is used for energy switch between an electrical energy steering motor and the steering shaft in an car. 4140 supplies glorious power and hardness, which is important for the spline tooth that join this half to the remainder of its meeting. Whereas manufacturing utilizing a standard press and sinter course of would require an costly mildew, the Manufacturing System P-50 permits manufacturing with no tooling, decreasing lead instances and enabling extra versatile design for portions as much as 1.2 million per 12 months at a totally burdened half price as little as $2.45.

  • Herringbone Gear. Herringbone gears, that are present in quite a lot of industrial equipment purposes, profit from the superb hardness of 4140 low-alloy metal and could be lightweighted utilizing advanced lattice designs made attainable by additive manufacturing, decreasing materials price and decreasing put on on exterior elements, corresponding to motors and bearings. This half could be mass produced on the Manufacturing System P-50 in portions as much as 200,000 per 12 months with 120 elements nested in every construct.

  • Linear Pneumatic Piston. Linear pneumatic pistons are used to transform air stress into rotary movement via a rack and pinion with 4140 offering the toughness and put on resistance required for this utility. These elements are historically assembled from a number of elements as a result of geometry and value limitations of typical manufacturing processes. The Manufacturing System P-50 permits manufacturing of as much as 690,000 elements per 12 months at a price as little as $0.28 per cubic centimeter of sintered 4140 low-alloy metal.

  • Lever Drive. Lever drives are sometimes utilized in machine design to regulate the placement of elements in a machine linearly. Binder jetting simply facilitates options such because the exact grooves essential for finding the right place of exterior elements. Whereas producing a mid-volume run of 10,000 elements wouldn’t be cost-effective with typical manufacturing given the upfront tooling prices or the labor prices related to machining, the Manufacturing System P-50 can print the required portions in a day with sintered elements prepared in lower than per week.

The Manufacturing System. Created by the inventors of binder jetting and single-pass inkjet know-how, the Manufacturing System is an industrial manufacturing platform powered by Desktop Metallic’s SPJ know-how. It’s designed to attain speeds as much as 100 instances these of legacy powder mattress fusion additive manufacturing applied sciences and allow manufacturing portions of as much as hundreds of thousands of elements per 12 months at prices aggressive with typical mass manufacturing methods.

The Manufacturing System platform consists of two printer fashions: the P-1, an answer for course of improvement and serial manufacturing purposes, and the P-50, a big kind issue mass manufacturing answer for end-use elements, scheduled to start business shipments within the second half of 2021.

The Manufacturing System combines Desktop Metallic engineered binders with an open materials platform, permitting prospects to provide high-performance elements utilizing the identical low-cost metallic powders used within the Metallic Injection Molding (MIM) business. An inert processing surroundings permits compatibility with quite a lot of supplies, together with 4140 low-alloy metal in addition to different high-performance alloys and even reactive metals, corresponding to aluminum and titanium.

At this time, the Manufacturing System platform supplies library contains 17-4 PH chrome steel, 316L chrome steel and 4140 low-alloy metal, every of which have been certified by Desktop Metallic. The platform additionally helps a number of customer-qualified supplies, together with silver and gold, and Desktop Metallic plans so as to add further metals to its portfolio, together with device steels, stainless steels, superalloys, copper, and extra.