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BASF Ahead AM Ultrafuse® Steel – Ideas and Methods on Easy methods to be Profitable

Discover these essential steps which might be required for getting one of the best steel 3D printed elements doable.

Up to date on August 22, 2023


Visitor Contributor Ahead AM

When beginning a printing course of, the aim is to get the very best remaining half. Nevertheless, in an effort to obtain that, it’s important for sure pointers to be revered. On this article, we’ll contact on the necessary steps required to supply the very best printed steel half with BASF Ahead AM’s Ultrafuse® Steel materials. Let’s start with the guidelines and methods to efficiently print utilizing BASF Ahead AM Ultrafuse® Steel.

You can learn how to successfully print with real metal on your desktop 3D printer!

You’ll be able to discover ways to efficiently print with actual steel in your desktop 3D printer!

What are Ultrafuse® Steel Filaments?

Ultrafuse® Steel filaments are metal-polymer composite filaments particularly designed for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printing. The non-slip outer floor of Ultrafuse® filaments has been optimized for printing on each Bowden and direct drive FFF extruders. With excessive steel contents of round 90% by mass, mixed with even distribution of tailored steel powders throughout the binder matrix, Ultrafuse® steel filaments present each reliable efficiency and assist to scale back the danger of printing defects, due to this fact, growing remaining half success charges. 

When in comparison with different advantageous steel powder strategies like Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Direct Steel Laser Sintering (DMLS), Direct Steel Deposition (DMD), and Binder Jetting, Ultrafuse® filaments bind steel particles inside a sturdy polymer system at excessive density to scale back doubtlessly dangerous advantageous steel particle publicity.  And since there isn’t a have to unpack the printed elements out of uncooked powder throughout the construct chamber, operators have minimal publicity to advantageous metallic particles.

BASF Ahead AM provides two steel filaments as a part of its portfolio: Ultrafuse® 316L and Ultrafuse® 17-4 PH

Which ends up in the query, when must you use what materials? Ultrafuse® 174PH is the cost-effective, all-rounder chrome steel, exhibits excessive mechanical load resistance and is appropriate for nearly all steel purposes, solely overwhelmed by Ultrafuse® 316L with regards to corrosion resistance. If you wish to verify which half is comprised of 316L or 17-4 PH, merely use a magnet. If it sticks, it’s 17-4 PH. If it doesn’t, the half is made out of 316L.

BASF Ultrafuse 316L Metal Filament

BASF Ultrafuse 316L Steel Filament

Common Vital Setting and Tips

Earlier than we delve into crucial ideas and methods, remember to assessment the desk under. In it, yow will discover a short abstract of how you can efficiently work with steel filaments.

Steered Printing Parameter

The number of printing parameters in the course of the slicing course of is essential for half high quality and printing time. The recommended parameters seen within the desk under function a place to begin for brand spanking new customers trying to start printing rapidly. As with every manufacturing course of, every half presents particular challenges and may profit from tuning and optimization in an effort to obtain the best doable high quality.

  • Nozzle Measurement: 0.3 – 0.8mm
    • Varies relying on the extent of element required and print time
  • Line Width: ±10-20% Nozzle dimension
  • Retraction Distance: 1.5mm / 5.0mm
  • Retraction Pace: 45 mm/s
  • Layer Peak: 0.10 – 0.25 mm
    • Not more than 60% of the nozzle dimension is really helpful
  • Outlines: 1-3
    • Too many outlines may end up in wall separation
  • Infill Density (Strong Half): 105% Strains
    • Rectilinear varieties have proven to supply greater densities
  • Infill Overlap: 20-35%
    • Overlap between the infill and the partitions should be ensured
  • Infill Sort (hole): >60% gyroid, grid, or triangle
    • Minimal infill above 60% for finest outcomes, however decrease values doable with testing
  • Infill Line Path: [45, -45]
  • Nozzle Temperature: 235°C – 245°C
    • Calibrate to make sure precise temperature matches slicer temperature settings
  • Mattress Temperature: 90°C – 105°C
    • Calibrate to make sure precise temperature matches slicer temperature settings
  • Cooling: None
    • Half cooling usually will increase warpage however may be useful throughout bridging
  • Max. Print Pace: 45 mm/s
    • Slower printing speeds produce denser, extra correct outcomes
  • Extrusion Price: Max 8cm3/h
    • By nozzle dimension 0.4mm decrease charges really helpful
  • Scaling: XY 120%, Z 124%
    • See Shrinkage and Oversizing Issue

Design Tips

Creating and choosing the proper design is essential for a high-quality and practical 3D printed object. It’s also necessary to do not forget that the rules are sometimes suggestions, not limitations. And lots of pointers are pushed by the wants of the D&S course of.

  • Half Measurement: The utmost inexperienced half footprint can’t exceed X 100, Y 100, Z 100 mm in an effort to match on the ceramic plates supporting the elements all through debinding and sintering. Bigger elements are achievable; nonetheless, they’ll endure from warpage whereas printing and sometimes require longer growth instances. Probably the most profitable dimension for brand spanking new customers is X 60, Y 60, Z 60 mm.
  • Unsupported Partitions: To attenuate the prospect of collapse and distortion, unsupported wall top to width ratios under 6:1 have been confirmed to be the best. Though simply printed, ratios above 6:1 resulted in cracking and even half collapse.

Mono Extrusion for Steel Solely – 2.5D

  • Overhangs: >35°
    • Must be prevented by the half desigh
  • Assist Construction: Obligatory for profitable printing
  • Assist Materials: Printed from the identical materials
  • Assist Elimination: Subtractive elimination from the steel half through sawing, milling, drilling, and submitting
  • Shrinkage Plate: Probably requires CAD, separate print job, meeting finalized on the D&S service companion
  • Separatable Stay setter (assist construction plus shrinkage plate): Requires CAD, separate print job, error-prone finalization of the half meeting


The Large Three

There are three massive matters that ought to all the time be thought of when printing Ultrafuse® Steel Filaments: Twist and Deformation after Debinding and Sintering, Shrinkage Plate and Inexperienced Half Preparation.

Twist and Deformation after Debinding and Sintering

When utilizing Ultrafuse® Meta Filaments, an unusual characteristic should be used within the slicer. The printing historical past of the person layers leaves an invisible inner stress within the inexperienced half. That is very true for contour-following traces as they introduce a spring-like stress that follows the thermal historical past of the extruded line. Elements with skinny options or many contour traces endure probably the most from deformation in the course of the sintering course of (Determine 2). The trick is to print the contours with alternating instructions. This compensates the for the strain, and the elements aren’t deformed after sintering.

Example of parts before and after the debinding and sintering process.

Figures 1&2: Instance of elements earlier than and after the debinding and sintering course of.

Shrinkage Plate as a Stay Setter

The second necessary tip is to pay attention to is the Shrinkage Plate. In the course of the sintering course of, the steel particles fuse collectively and as much as 20% shrinkage happens. Throughout shrinkage, the contact space of the half is affected by friction as a counterforce. The coefficient of friction will depend on the mass distribution of the half and the design ratios of the half, which seem stretched or deformed (Determine 4). To compensate for the static friction results, a separate plate manufactured from the identical materials, generally known as a shrinkage plate (Determine 5), is used to surround the complete contour space of the underside of the half. The specified half sees solely the shrinkage of the plate and no further static friction. The part leaves the sintering course of freed from distortion and with greater accuracy (Determine 6). For a debinding and sintering service companion, the shrinkage plate is coated with a sinter-inactive materials to forestall diffusion and bonding of the shrinkage plate with the specified steel half.

Figures 3&4: A look at parts after each of the debinding and sintering process.

Figures 3&4: A take a look at elements after every of the debinding and sintering course of.

Using a shrinkage plate during the D&S process helps minimize part distortion.

Figures 5&6: Utilizing a shrinkage plate in the course of the D&S course of helps decrease half distortion.

Inexperienced Half Preparation

In the course of the debinding course of, the polymer and thermoplastic matrix is eliminated leaving solely stainless-steel powder with a small quantity of plastic to carry the half’s form. Tiny gaps between the half and the assist floor of the furnace can exert essential shear forces on the half, resulting in cracking and collapse. To efficiently survive processing, all half surfaces should be completely planar and flat. A glass print mattress and the usage of Magioo ProMetal are the primary steps in the correct path. Every half ought to be checked for planarity earlier than debinding and sintering and, if obligatory, flattened utilizing sandpaper or different subtractive strategies.

Figure 7: Part after release from the build plate

Determine 7: Half after launch from the construct plate

Figure 8: Crack after sintering process

Determine 8: Crack after sintering course of

Figure 9: Little Gap between component and underlaying surface

Determine 9: Little Hole between part and underlaying floor

We hope that by using the following pointers and methods, all of your steel elements will likely be printed as anticipated. For extra data and extra ideas and methods, remember to try BASF Ahead AM’s Steel Person Guideline. Till then, joyful printing!



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