Metal 3d printers in 2021 and beyond

Metal 3d printers have traditionally been priced at levels not affordable by most.

Has anyone had any experience working with metal 3d printers?

Have you seen any desktop metal printers coming out?

Where do you think the metal 3d printers are going in 2021 and beyond?

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Personally I think manufacturing is going to take a bit of a hit on this in the upcoming years

Saw an article somewhere that they were 3d printing with a MiG wielder, and then just did the cleanup on a CNC. Amazing work that can be created.

@Jason I always thought that would be an entertaining idea, but have seen arguments that its pretty messy to try. Though imagine printing with 1 and needing supports XD

@chris Im not sure where they’ll be by the end of the year, but i too am keeping an eye on them to see how they trickle down to the consumer levels. :slight_smile:

haha, never thought of that, guess the supports wouldn’t be “knock off”

I think the biggest problem is that any desktop solution will be a sintering or FDM based solution that will still need an oven to bond the metal particles together. We won’t see any kind of affordable hobbyist solution for years to come.

This is the Video Of that Hybrid CNC machine i sent you last week.

Pretty cool, something tells me removing the part from the beds gonna be difficult! lol.

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Can somedy explain me how metal 3D printer work? I am pretty interested in this technology. Do they work the same way as normal 3D printer?

The most common ones print metal powder in a plastic/wax – once you cook it in a specialized oven the plastic/wax burns off and hardens the metal. Its very complicated and definitely not coming to home use anytime soon.

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Strength is an issue, trust is another.
Right now there’s the same feeling between machined parts and metal injection mold parts. There could be no difference between the two parts, but people prefer the machined part because its what they know.

3d printed metal is going to have a time period where it won’t be as strong, and that will cause people to hold a bias towards it for awhile. Until the parts start to prove themselves in a public way.

There are some really interesting benefits to having 3D printed metal parts. In my line of work we design plastic injection moulds and while running they have to be heated to a certain temperature. To regulate that temp we drill water lines into our moulds but because it is a drilling operation they have to be straight lines so we cannot follow any contours that the plastic parts have. This leaves hot spots. With printing metal we would be able to give optimal cooling through the whole mould. Unfortunately it is still very impractical to do this on a larger scale because it is a very slow process that currently can’t be scaled up to a fast production level.

No matter how well it is printed it will still have to be machined after so ultimately it is way faster to be machined and deal with hot spots at the moment.

It’s actually a really good point, people are used to machined and fabricated parts not failing cause its what you see everyday. Alot of people have limited experience with 3d printing and associate 3d printing with cutesie stuff on the shelf or stuff that will break easily. Untill the time tested parts are around for a while the attitude will remain the same, no matter how good the process is.