3D Metalforge’s other metal printed parts include impellers, antenna mounts, lifting hooks and swivel joints.
3D Metalforge’s other metal printed parts include impellers, antenna mounts, lifting hooks and swivel joints.

Additive manufacturing (AM) company 3D Metalforge, based in Singapore, has printed a metal tray using a small footprint AM 400 AM system from UK 3D printing company Renishaw.

The printer has a 250 mm x 250 mm x 300 mm build volume and is equipped with a 400W laser system with a beam diameter of 70 µm.

A technology equipment company approached 3D Metalforge looking for ways to improve one of its parts, a metal tray, but was unable to achieve the desired design goals using traditional manufacturing techniques. Since the original part design was not optimized for AM, it was re-designed with lattice structures to reduce weight and new shaping to improve part alignment. Prototypes were produced and tested within the end-product assembly before finalising the part design.

According to 3D Metalforge, a few hundred of the metal parts have so far been produced using the AM 400 system for a quality control pass rate of 100%.

Part complexities

According to the company, customer requirements for 3D metal printing services are changing dramatically in Singapore, from a predominance of short-run prototyping and one-off model-making to more volume production of end-use parts.

‘Customers moved very quickly from a position of not really knowing that certain parts could actually be printed in metal, to the point where they understood the advantages of metal additive manufacturing over traditional manufacturing and the part complexities and high quality that could be achieved,’ said Matthew Waterhouse, CEO of 3D Metalforge.

3D Metalforge’s other metal printed parts include impellers, antenna mounts, lifting hooks and swivel joints. The company also offers consulting and diagnostics, part design/re-design, part printing, heat treatment, sawing, bead blasting, polishing and finishing. 3D Metalforge says that it is planning to open further factories in high growth Asian markets and is expanding its presence in the USA.

This story uses material from Renishaw, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.