About SLM Printing and it’s uses
China Unveils Metal 3D Printer Able to Create Metal Jewelry
People first began hearing about 3D printing just a few years ago, but the technology was actually born in 1981. This birth occurred when Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute’s Hideo Kodama published an account of a rapid prototyping system that was more than a theory – it functioned. It layered photopolymers (acrylic-based materials) on top of each other in order to create a 3D structure.
However, the technology was slower moving than the time it took to print a single square inch (it was a considerable wait), so its true adolescence ocurred between the years 1999 and 2010. This was the start of a revolutionary decade in the 3D printing sector because it was 1999 when the first 3D-printed organ was implanted into human beings. This was a major medical breakthrough. The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine discovered that the 3D printed organs could be coated with the human patient’s own cells so that there would be little to no chance of rejection.
Everything from miniature functional kidneys to prosthetic legs were being created with 3D printing technology. By the mid-2000s, the public became interested in 3D printing for personal use because of the creativity element. The first commercially viable machine was made available in 2006 and that marked the period in which printers could print using multiple materials.
But now 3D printing is in its prime. The price has dropped and the technology continues to move forward. This forward motion has been evidenced by the development of a miniature metal 3D printer, which is a significant improvement over the rom-filling metal 3D printers that can cost millions of dollars. The company that created the miniature printer, Yibo3D, reached a highly interesting milestone with this latest development. Now their YBRP-140 SLM can mainstream what has, up to this point, been a product that has been exclusive to aviation, aerospace, and the high tech sectors.
What Sets the YBRP-140 SLM Apart?
The YBRP-140 SLM uses Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology. This means that laser beams melt metal particles into the desired shapes. The printer is no larger than the standard washing machine, which considered small when compared to past metal printers.
Like its competitors, it can be used to create metal parts out of multiple materials. It is also more cost-effective than other 3D SLM printers. Between the size, cost, multi-material capabilities, and its exactness, startups will have access to industrial grade 3D printing that will completely change how their industries do things.
What Yibo3D is doing now is putting a lot of thought into the jewelry industry, as they revealed that their metal 3D printer has the capability to create unique pieces of jewelry in different metals, including gold. The metals that are on the table include titanium, iron, nickel-based materials, and copper-based alloys. This makes the printer ideal for high density and high precision parts, such as research tools, low-volume jewelry, teeth prostheses, and medical equipment.
Cost Versus Quality
Something that is surprising about the YBRP-140 SLM 3D printer is that it costs less than other metal 3D printers. However, this lower cost doesn’t translate into poor quality. In fact, the layer heights the printer prints are just .02 mm. If you decided to make a part of 100 mm, the deviation in accuracy may not exceed .1mm. This low margin of error makes the metal printer suitable for more than just making jewelry.
The cost and quality aspects of the printer show a changing climate in the world of 3D printing. With the world becoming more open to the innovations of 3D printing, it is expected that there will be growth in the consumer market. While most of the sales have been seen in China because of the strong backing by the Chinese government, it is expected that the technology will strike worldwide interest in the near future.
And not only do buyers save money on the machine itself, but they save money on what they are producing. In the jewelry industry, 3D metal printing can allow for a higher degree of customization with a great deal of precision. Uniqueness is an important quality in the jewelry industry and this technology is one way to achieve that important goal. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why sales have been increasing rapidly. In fact, the sales forecast predicts a continued upswing in both industrial and consumer sales.
A Positive Forecast
It is the past sales of the YBRP-140 SLM 3D that encourage the positive sales projection. When the technology first became known, 34,000 units were sold. The following year, the number doubled to 77,000 units. This trend is expected to continue as the technology becomes more refined and the price remains reasonable for commercial and personal applications. The improved availability of the mini 3D metal printers also comes into play, as the availability is going to pique a higher degree of interest among consumers and businesses.