Metal 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing

Posted by 3DEO on Jun 13, 2018 5:16:11 PM

The Economics of Investment Casting Versus Metal 3D Printing

Production runs of small, intricate metal components have traditionally been addressed by metal injection molding or investment casting. Some manufacturers, however, are finding that advances in 3D printing technology can make it a cheaper and faster alternative.


The question of which manufacturing method is best suited to metal part production can be complicated. It’s not a decision that can be reached by weighing only a single factor. To arrive at the best decision, it’s important for businesses to consider many factors and prioritize.

Are fast lead times essential? Do the components have tensile, strength, or hardness requirements? Is surface finish a major consideration? While it’s important for businesses to weigh various priorities, the final cost-per-part (within quality specifications) is often the deciding factor in which technique wins out.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Metal 3D Printing, MIM, cost, industry trends, additive manufacturing, Metal AM Processes

Posted by 3DEO on Jun 6, 2018 10:36:07 AM

The Economics of MIM Versus 3D Metal Printing

Metal 3D Printing is becoming a great complement to Metal Injection Molding (MIM) and the decision to use one or the other largely comes down to the volumes required. The added bonus with metal 3D printing is that you can update a part without needing to invest in a brand new mold.


Manufacturers today who are searching for a cost-effective way to make small and complex metal parts for production by and large only have two options: metal injection molding (MIM) or investment casting. Casting has been around for thousands of years, and MIM was created ~40 years ago.  Metal 3D printing is the new entrant to the scene, and for the first time in a long while adds another option to the engineer's toolkit.  New low-cost, high volume metal 3D printing technologies (like 3DEO) are beginning to change conventional manufacturing wisdom.

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Topics: Metal 3D Printing, MIM, cost, CNC Milling

Posted by 3DEO on Jun 4, 2018 1:13:21 PM

Understanding Surface Finish in Metal 3D Printing

While metal AM brings with it a host of positive advantages, it’s important to understand the realities of as-printed surface roughness. This understanding will help design/engineering teams understand the costs associated with bringing 3D printed parts to a suitable finish.

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Topics: cost, Metal AM Processes, Surface Finish

Posted by 3DEO on May 24, 2018 1:56:02 PM

Low-Cost Production Metal 3D Printing: Intelligent Layering®

Overview of Intelligent Layering®

The first metal AM technology competitive with traditional manufacturing

Intelligent Layering® is the only metal 3D printing technology that beats traditional manufacturing in cost, quality, and turnaround. Buyers struggle to source small, complex metal parts due to high up-front costs, long lead times, and locked-in designs. 3DEO’s patented technology solves this by competing on price and quality with no up-front costs, short lead times, and unlimited design freedom.

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Topics: Metal 3D Printing, additive manufacturing, Metal AM Processes

Posted by 3DEO on May 23, 2018 12:12:58 PM

What you need to know about the FDA’s guidelines for 3D-printed medical devices

No matter how you slice it, the spike in industry-wide 3D printing revenues over the past 5 years has been impressive. A close look at that growth, however, reveals something interesting: it’s been disproportionately driven a small handful of vertical markets. Of these select markets, none has been as influential as MedTech. Metal-based additive manufacturing (AM), in particular, has proven to be perfectly suited to meet a number of needs in medical and dental device production.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Design for 3D Printing, medical device, dental, Product Development

Posted by 3DEO on May 8, 2018 2:57:09 PM

Iterate Faster and Lower Your Project Risk with Metal 3D Printing

There’s a growing push among manufacturers towards integrating metal 3D printing into product development. Here’s why:

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Topics: Prototype to Production, Faster Development Cycles

Posted by 3DEO on May 7, 2018 11:56:00 AM

3DEO in the News: 3DEO Showcases Production Scale Metal 3D Printing Service at RAPID 2018

In case you missed it, 3DEO recently presented on the economics of metal 3D printing and showed off its production capabilities for metal 3D printed parts at RAPID 2018. Get the full story here:

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Topics: Conferences, News, cost, additive manufacturing, RAPID

Posted by 3DEO on Apr 17, 2018 10:00:00 AM

3D Printing is Driving Innovation in Medical Devices

Metal 3D printing continues to play a key role in driving innovation within the MedTech industry. The process has three primary advantages over traditional manufacturing techniques:

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Topics: medical device, mass customization, healthcare, surgical instruments

Posted by 3DEO on Mar 27, 2018 9:37:52 AM

Intro to Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) Processes - Material Jetting

Overview of Material Jetting in Metal 3D Printing

Material Jetting is relatively new and similar to binder jetting, with one key difference -- instead of a binder being jetted through the printhead, a metallic material is jetted. This material is jetted onto the build tray directly using either a continuous jetting or Drop on Demand (DOD) process. The jetted metal is deposited on the build tray in the cross section of the part for that layer. This process continues as it builds up layer after layer. The resulting part still needs to be sintered in a furnace to achieve final part density. Previously, material jetting was limited to plastics and polymers, but recent advances have seen new companies attempting to commercialize the process for metals. XJet currently shows the most promise for material jetting with its patented NanoParticle Jetting technology and recently shipped its first commercial machine to a customer.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Design for 3D Printing, Metal 3D Printing, additive manufacturing, Metal AM Processes

Posted by 3DEO on Mar 22, 2018 4:00:02 PM

Metal 3D Printing Processes - Directed Energy Deposition (DED)

Overview of Directed Energy Deposition in Metal AM

Directed Energy Deposition (DED) is an additive manufacturing process where metal wire or powder is combined with an energy source to deposit material onto a build tray or an existing part directly. Parts chosen for DED are typically large without the need for tight tolerances. DED methods are capable of building very large parts and are popular because of the rapid deposition speed. Because it closely resembles welding, DED is commonly used to repair and maintain existing parts. DED machines usually mount a nozzle on a multi-axis arm, which then deposits the metal feedstock to the surface. When used with 5 or 6 axis machines, the material can be deposited from nearly any angle and is melted upon deposition with a laser or electron beam. This process means DED can be used to build objects very quickly and is only limited in size by the reach of the robotic arm.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Design for 3D Printing, Metal 3D Printing, additive manufacturing, Metal AM Processes

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About 3DEO: 3DEO makes high quality metal components with our proprietary metal 3D printers. We specialize in manufacturing low/medium volumes on demand, which means there’s no need to worry about long lead times, minimum order quantities, or high tooling/setup costs.

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