The same system was featured on Desktop engineering's RapidReady segment http://www.rapidreadytech.com/2013/10/esas-amaze-project-delves-into-metal-additive-manufacturing/
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129
Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) does not create a part as strong as traditional manufacturing methods (forging, milling, casting, stamping, rolling, etc.). It has a low quality grain structure that leads to reduced strength and stiffness. It also typically suffers from poor surface finish and accuracy, requiring additional time spent in the finishing stages (sanding, etc.). A door hinge is a good place for a DMLS part: low structural stress. You don't want to see it used anyplace structural like the airframe or wings.
It depends on the stress type and whether binding compounds are used.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has made 3D printed rocket nozzles already.
Also 3d printed metal has been out for long already: laser sintering , selective laser melting in particular. Electron beam melting is pretty much used for Titanium too ; it's the only additive manufacturing method that can be used in space.
At its core it is not much different from welding or casting; you don't see people complaining about welds being weak unless they are poorly made.
The only thing new type of system I know is the VADER 3d printer using Liquid Metal Jet Printing. http://3dprintingindustry.com/2013/09/30/potential-home-metal-3d-printer-vader/
What makes it different is you don't need a huge sand vat and post process.
Just today we have had new materials from EOS (NickelAlloy HX) http://www.metal-powder.net/view/35070/eos-develops-nickel-alloy-for-am/Additive Manufacturing
Laser sintering has load bearing parts, see EOSINT case studies: http://www.eos.info/industries_markets/automotive/motor_racing
Exone's Laser micromachining can machine holes as small as 50 microns http://www.exone.com/materialization/what-is-digital-part-materialization/laser
There is possible stronger metals from additive manufacturing through spark plasma sintering http://www.rapidreadytech.com/2013/07/new-additive-manufacturing-process-leads-to-stronger-alloys/
Case study by 3dsystems on selective laser melting (SLM) http://www.3dsystems.com/learning-center/case-studies/no-compromises-with-quality-and-cycle-times#.Ul3dMBBGbDA
Voxeljet metal printing http://www.voxeljet.de/en/case-studies/automotive-aerospace/Fused deposition modeling (ABS plastic & PLA that is "biodegradable") and stereolithography is a whole different game
. It really is meant for low-volume conceptualization and non-load bearing parts (such as a Hummer H2 gas tank cap). The resolution is pretty terrible and parts tend to be more brittle as far as SLA goes. These printed plastic things are typically not bioinert and have xenoestrogens (think BPA-like substances).
Another use for the crappy plastic (or wax) is to use it as a mold for composites, sort of like CNCing a foam plug mold.
Just about anyone can throw money at Shapeways and get something made of metal: http://www.shapeways.com/materials
Metallic Materials allowed: * Stainless steel , silver/brass/bronze/gold plated brass ( lost-wax casting process ) , "alumide" is actually just metal bits suspended in plastic
I think Shapeways is a lot more accessible than Proto Labs. Proto Labs is hinging on the "better material properties" of subtractive manufacturing: http://www.firstcut.com/Documents/UnitedStates/StorkPlasticTest.pdf
Kraftwerk is similar to Shapeways: http://www.kraftwurx.com/create/create-seperator/materials
* They're able to do Platinum, Palladium, SIlver, Aluminum, Gold, etc
The fact is that the artsy types and people just making designs that are artwork don't care about "design for manufacturing" and all those notions of "not possible via subtractive manufacturing" because the toolbit won't be able to machine something a certain way. There's still manufacturing tolerance though.
Rapidready also had an article on Subtractive (i.e. CNC) vs additive (3d print) http://www.rapidreadytech.com/2013/09/point-counterpoint-additive-vs-subtractive-rapid-prototyping/
TL;DR: There's more to "3d printing" than the plastic crap that people are peddling for cheap (<$10,000).Edited by AlphaC - 10/15/13 at 6:34pm