MATERIALS TECH NEWS

Desktop Metal Qualifies Titanium for Extrusion-Based bound Metal AM technologies

Above: A machine bracket. 3D printing this new design on the Studio System 2 in Ti64 reduces the part weight by 59 percent/Image Source: Desktop Metal

Desktop Metal, a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, recently announced that it has qualified the use of titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V (Ti64) for the Studio System 2™, an accessible metal 3D printing platform that offers customers the easiest way to print high-performance metal parts in low volumes for pre-production and end-use applications. With plans to begin shipping Ti64 next month, Desktop Metal will be the first and only company to make the material commercially available for extrusion-based bound metal additive manufacturing technologies.

Ti64 is the most widely used titanium alloy and is characterised by its high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility. With a high strength-to-weight ratio, Ti64 is considered an ideal material for high-performance production applications in industries such as aerospace and defence, automotive, and oil and gas. In addition, its biocompatibility makes it particularly desirable in medical applications, such as with surgical devices and implants.

The Studio System 2 produces Ti64 with exceptional mechanical properties. Tensile properties include 730 MPa yield strength, 845 MPa ultimate tensile strength, and 17 percent elongation. These mechanical properties exceed those set by ASTM F2885-17 standards for metal injection molded surgical implant applications.

“Titanium has been a challenging material for bound metal 3D printing because it is both extremely reactive in powder form and difficult to sinter,” said Jonah Myerberg, Co-Founder and CTO of Desktop Metal. “We are excited to be the first to commercialize the most common titanium alloy, Ti64, for 3D printing through our Studio System 2 solution, opening the door to more accessible production of high-performance titanium parts.”

“3D printing with titanium is incredibly valuable in industries like aerospace because of the material’s ability to support complex and lightweight designs,” said Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Privateer Space, a new satellite company focused on monitoring and cleaning up objects in space.

“With the Studio System 2, the team at Privateer Space will be able to achieve the affordability and lightweighting capabilities needed to pave the way for our satellite design and launch. This technology is truly a differentiator in helping companies to accelerate innovations in space and, through the material advancements that Desktop Metal is making, we have an amazing opportunity to collaborate and keep space accessible for future generations,” added Wozniak.

Key Applications of Titanium

With Studio System 2, Ti64 parts demonstrate excellent mechanical properties and corrosion resistance on a more accessible platform than legacy powder bed fusion 3D printing alternatives. Examples of key uses cases include machine bracket, telescope focus ring, drone coupling, and fuel injector nozzle.

The Studio System 2 – Office-Friendly Metal 3D Printing

The Studio System 2 is an office-friendly metal additive manufacturing system that leverages Desktop Metal’s proprietary Bound Metal Deposition™ (BMD) technology to produce parts. The easy, two-step process provides a nearly hands-free experience, while eliminating loose powders and dangerous lasers commonly associated with metal 3D printing. Consisting of a printer and furnace, the Studio System 2 simplifies in-house low volume production of a wide range of complex geometries with outstanding surface finish and high-performance mechanical properties.

extrusion-based metal AM
Above: The Studio System 2/Image Source: Desktop Metal

The Studio System 2 is compatible with 316L stainless steel and Ti64 as well as all materials previously supported by the Studio System, including 17-4PH stainless steel, 4140 low-alloy steel, H13 tool steel, and copper. A broad portfolio of additional materials that take advantage of the Studio System 2’s streamlined, a two-step process is inactive R&D with new releases slated to roll out this year.


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