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  • 3D printing other, other materials - like SS

    Has anyone else seen the adverts for the new MarkForged metal printing process?

    https://markforged.com/metal-x/

    Pretty awesome, if reality lives up to the brochure.

    Basically, they print with metalized plastic, then dissolve most of the plastic out, then heat enough to fuse the metal together.

    They get 25% shrinkage, but their software automatically compensates for it. They say their stainless steel parts are as strong as milled parts from solid stainless. They're doing stainless now, but they figure they can print a lot of different metals, from aluminium to titanium, inconel and tool steels. The shots of the sprocket they did this way show the raster lines from 3D printing, so they're not losing a whole lot of detail in the firing process.

    So, get ready for it... some little Maker is going to come along with a printer and a kiln and put what a machinist can do to shame. Imagine 3D parts with a honeycomb core, size of cells programmed in, and a skin exactly the thickness desired. It's a whole new world.

    Hopefully, someone can bust the patents and we don't have to wait 25 years for this to get cheap like 3D printing is now. Assuming, of course, reality lives up to the hype.

    David...
    Last edited by fixerdave; 02-28-2018, 03:48 AM.
    http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Leave it to an RC guy to figure this out and apply it in his craft- no doubt he'll be making improvements to the process in order to get what he wants from it.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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    • #3
      Originally posted by darryl View Post
      Leave it to an RC guy to figure this out and apply it in his craft- no doubt he'll be making improvements to the process in order to get what he wants from it.
      Yeah, imagine a wing as light as balsa and tissue, but made of stainless steel. Right now, a model doesn't have to be "that" strong, so it's better to build out of carbon fiber or something. But, if the stainless could be supported by a gradually shrinking honeycomb structure right up to the skin... could you imagine how light that part could be made, and yet still be strong in every way needed? Imagine what the world will be like when it gets like 3D printing is now, after the opensource programmers have played with improving the slicing software, after everyone like us has already had years of playing with 3D printers and experimenting with various filaments... and now we can print in metal, at home. Metal.

      When 3D printing first came out, there was a lot of hype... that just sort of disappeared. 25 years later, the patents expired and here we are. 3D printing at home. "Yeah, great if you want to make cheesy plastic toys." Get a printer, figure it out, and realise how non-cheesy it really is, what you can actually do with it now. And, metal's coming. When metal comes, we'll be living the hype, all of it. If Markforged actually, really did what they say they did, worst case it's 25 years before the patents expire and everything changes. Best case, the patents get busted and it's a couple of years before you, anyone, with a few hundred dollars, can print motorcycle sprockets at home, and near everything else. People will make stuff that would be impossible, inconceivable to do on a mill or lathe. Machine tools will be for post-processing parts: improving the finish, making them run true, balancing, stuff like that. We laugh at "billet" aluminium now... at least we get the joke.

      David...
      http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by fixerdave View Post
        Yeah, imagine a wing as light as balsa and tissue, but made of stainless steel.
        Why would you use stainless steel for an aircraft wing?
        Even for honeycomb structures it is surely still advantageous to use materials which have the best strength to weight ratio where weight is a consideration, as with flight?
        Metallurgy 101? ;-)
        If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Magicniner View Post
          Why would you use stainless steel for an aircraft wing?
          Even for honeycomb structures it is surely still advantageous to use materials which have the best strength to weight ratio where weight is a consideration, as with flight?
          Metallurgy 101? ;-)
          Likely because that's all the device from MarkForged will print...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Magicniner View Post
            Why would you use stainless steel for an aircraft wing?
            Even for honeycomb structures it is surely still advantageous to use materials which have the best strength to weight ratio where weight is a consideration, as with flight?
            Metallurgy 101? ;-)
            Resistance to corrosion? If the vast majority of the strength is coming from the structure rather than the material itself, does the material's intrinsic weight matter that much?

            Now, I'm probably over-hyping this. It's going to take a while, and a few more patents, before they figure out how to build removable support into a featherweight support structure. Something that can withstand the heat of firing, shrink exactly the right amount, and yet be able to be removed after the fact. Not a simple trick. But, I do think they'll get it. It was Kurzweil that said something like when you've solve 1% of a problem with an exponential solution, you're half way there. 3D printing is way past that 1% mark.

            Even with solid prints, nothing fancy, the day you're average hack can set up a printer, filament, and an oven for under a grand then that will be a great leap forward.

            David...
            http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fixerdave View Post
              If the vast majority of the strength is coming from the structure rather than the material itself, does the material's intrinsic weight matter that much?
              You misunderstand, the same principles apply in choosing materials whatever the structure, a material with twice the strength for a given weight will still yield a lighter structure in a "Honeycomb" for a given strength.
              You cannot ignore Metallurgy and Physics just because you quote "Magic Structures", that's "Millennial Snowflake" thinking ;-)
              If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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              • #8
                Then you could subscribe to 3D Metal Printing magazine and be totally blown away by where metal printing is already! I see that SpaceX wants to replace the engine mounting structure call the octagon with one made from Inconel because of the high temperatures of reentry. I would bet that they 3D print it because it is a very difficult material to machine and they want light weight which is where 3D printing really shines.

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                • #9
                  This jump-starts me into the world of science fiction. Orbiting "fabricators" that are fed material from the asteroid belt and pump out everything from space ships to more fabricators. Incredible stuff going on here. My grandma was alive when the first heavier than air "ship" was flown by the Wright brothers. I remember man landing on the moon. If we don't blow ourselves to Kingdom come we may be on the verge of fantastic things.
                  Brian Rupnow

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                    Then you could subscribe to 3D Metal Printing magazine and be totally blown away by where metal printing is already! I see that SpaceX wants to replace the engine mounting structure call the octagon with one made from Inconel because of the high temperatures of reentry. I would bet that they 3D print it because it is a very difficult material to machine and they want light weight which is where 3D printing really shines.
                    That sounds neat, but if it's using the same techniques as plastic 3d printing I don't see it matching the integrity of a machined or cast part. My friend was showing me An arbor press he was making using PET, and was vexed by the tendency to fracture at the print lines. I could tell by looking at it that it had many places where stress risers were printed right into the design.

                    Reusable space craft really need great integrity.
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                      Then you could subscribe to 3D Metal Printing magazine and be totally blown away by where metal printing is already! I see that SpaceX wants to replace the engine mounting structure call the octagon with one made from Inconel because of the high temperatures of reentry. I would bet that they 3D print it because it is a very difficult material to machine and they want light weight which is where 3D printing really shines.
                      It's not so much that they can print in metal, it's that the technology they're doing it with isn't so different from my $300 printer at home. It's just extruded plastic, a bath, and an oven. No high-powered lasers, nothing really fancy at all. Sure, their stuff is expensive, too expensive for me anyway, but the basic process is attainable at home. It's just a matter of time.

                      I don't expect I'll ever have a kilowatt laser at home (even if I did want one) but an induction oven? Yeah, I can do that. A print head that can handle the essentially plastic filament... probably not hard. Once the filament is available, it's do-able.

                      If other companies are making progress on this too, then that's great. Makes it much less likely the whole thing will get locked down behind patents. But, this is the first I've heard of it.

                      David...
                      http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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                      • #12
                        Keep it open sourced, won’t be able to keep it away. Why would you want a stainless wing? Carbon fiber is hard to beat.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                          Keep it open sourced, won’t be able to keep it away. Why would you want a stainless wing? Carbon fiber is hard to beat.
                          Well, I really don't want to get into a bun-fight defending an off-the-cuff remark but the basic notion is that with the right structure the savings in weight by using lighter material matters less (not zero, just less). Stainless, because that's what they did the sprocket in. Titanium would be better, obviously. Not sure about aluminium as there could be corrosion issues and the weight of a protective coating would have to be factored in.

                          Carbon fiber... 2 ways of looking at it. Traditional layup has to be heavier than a "magic structure" but Markforged already has a carbon fiber printer and that one actually routes a continuous line of carbon fiber within each layer of short carbon fiber plastic mix, so that has to beat out just about anything else, strength to weight wise. And, that will only get better as the software gurus come up with better internal structures. The only place it falls down, as others have mentioned, is layer to layer strength. Markforged recommends interlocking parts to deal with this. That said, and considering the printed metal is being run through a furnace to fuse it... no idea if their new metal process still has layer to layer weakness. The brochure claim is that the printed part has the same strength as a milled one. Time will tell.

                          And, yes, I would love the entire process to be open-source free. That would be amazing. But, we live in a world of patents and I'd be surprised if Markforged hasn't at least attempted to lock down everything they can. Time will tell how successful they were.

                          David...
                          http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by danlb View Post
                            That sounds neat, but if it's using the same techniques as plastic 3d printing I don't see it matching the integrity of a machined or cast part. My friend was showing me An arbor press he was making using PET, and was vexed by the tendency to fracture at the print lines. I could tell by looking at it that it had many places where stress risers were printed right into the design.

                            Reusable space craft really need great integrity.
                            Not much to do with plastic printing. Likely laser sintered from powder.
                            eg. https://3dprint.com/178423/nanosteel...teel-material/

                            This gives also some idea how its done:
                            http://www.vtt.fi/inf/julkaisut/muut...R-03159-16.pdf
                            Last edited by MattiJ; 03-01-2018, 06:42 AM.

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                            • #15
                              It just a way around patents on processes that already exist. Taking the long way around, I might add.

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