Desktop Metal has qualified the use of D2 tool steel for it Production System platform, which leverages patent-pending Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology designed to achieve the fastest build speeds in the metal additive manufacturing industry. Businesses can now leverage SPJ technology for the production of parts in high-strength, high-temperature applications such as cold work metal forming tools dies, and punches as well as injection molds with conformal cooling channels.
D2 tool steel is a versatile high-carbon, high-chromium air-hardening tool steel characterized by its high hardness and compressive strength after heat treatment. This tool steel also offers extremely high wear resistance properties, dimensional stability, and corrosion resistance in the hardened condition, a key benefit for conformal cooling applications. D2 is used for a wide variety of cold work tools that require a combination of wear resistance and moderate toughness, such as coining and sizing tool members, blanking and forming dies, shear cutting tools, gauges, burnishing tools, and other wear parts.
“Our materials science team is constantly working to develop new materials and processes to make 3D printing accessible to all industries and applications,” said Jonah Myerberg, co-founder and CTO of Desktop Metal. “We are responding to the demand from our customers across manufacturing and industrial industries for materials like D2 tool steel that enable the production of critical forming and cutting tools, and in various other applications where high hardness is valued.” Desktop Metal’s materials science team has qualified and fully characterized D2 tool steel printed on Production System technology in accordance with ASTM testing requirements.
Cams used in oil and gas or chemical processing applications convert rotary motion into reciprocating linear motion in a machine. Typically these parts require multiple manufacturing steps, beginning with CNC machining and followed by broaching of the spline on a separate machine. Binder jetting enables the production of cams in a single printing step, reducing both the cost and lead time of the part, while also supporting the production of numerous cam sizes in a single build to accommodate different machines, all without any fixturing or tooling required. D2 tool steel is critical for this application because of its hardness and corrosion resistance, which ensures a longer lifetime as the cam mechanically interacts with a sliding pin. In addition, because these components are often integrated into machines operating in harsh environments, the corrosion resistance provided by D2 ensures that the parts will perform as intended and not deteriorate.
Created by the inventors of binder jetting and single-pass inkjet technology, the Production System is an industrial manufacturing platform powered by Desktop Metal’s SPJ technology. It is designed to achieve speeds up to 100 times those of legacy powder bed fusion additive manufacturing technologies and enable production quantities of up to millions of parts per year at costs competitive with conventional mass production techniques.
The Production System platform consists of two printer models: the P-1, a solution for process development and serial production applications, and the P-50, a large form factor mass production solution for end-use parts. The Production System combines Desktop Metal engineered binders with an open material platform, allowing customers to produce high-performance parts using the same low-cost metal powders used in the Metal Injection Molding (MIM) industry. An inert processing environment enables compatibility with a variety of materials, including high-performance alloys and even reactive metal powders, such as aluminum and titanium.
In addition to D2, the materials library for the Production System platform has expanded to include 420 stainless steel, nickel alloy IN625, 4140 low-alloy steel, 316L stainless steel, and 17-4PH stainless steel, each of which have been qualified by Desktop Metal. The platform also supports several customer-qualified materials, including silver and gold, and Desktop Metal plans to add additional metals to its portfolio, including tool steels, stainless steels, superalloys, copper, and more.