The question of strength in 3D printed materials is one which has held it back from exploding across manufacture. The initial indicates from NASA-based research were promising, and other manufacturers, notably GE and Airbus, have embarked down the path to making end user parts out of metal. New research, however, may change things.
Titanium has become a firm favorite for the medical and aerospace industries, but a worrying report from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that 3D printed titanium could be fatally flawed.
Deep X-rays have revealed a porosity to the material in 3D printed titanium that can be traced back to its powder-based production method.
Carnegie Mellon University is one of the world leaders in 3D printing research and has produced some stellar research over the years. It took the most common form of titanium, Ti-gAI-4V, to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory. There it analyzed the material with so called deep X-rays, or intense synchrotron x-rays, and an advanced rapid imaging tool.