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Additive Manufacturing

3D Printing Service

Metal 3D Printing Service

CapabilitiesCustom Online 3D Printing ServiceAluminum Metal 3D Printing

Aluminum Metal 3D Printing

Aluminum metal 3D printing can dramatically reduce the number of individual parts your project needs. Products with complex internal geometries can be made at reduced weights but still remain strong. This makes 3D printing in aluminum ideal for aerospace and automotive applications.

A metal 3D printed aluminum part with its support structures

About Aluminum Metal 3D Printing

Aluminum metal 3D printing is often used in applications with sensitive weight requirements such as those found in the automotive and aerospace industries due, in part, to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio. 3D printing adds to the advantages of the material by allowing for other light-weighting methods such as hollow or latticed internal features as well as consolidating multiple parts into one to reduce complexity, assembly time, and overall weight.

3D Printed Aluminum at a Glance

Application

Gearboxes, brackets, enclosures

Advantages

Thin-walled parts, excellent corrosion resistance, high strength

Disadvantages

The porosity gives it a lower density than solid aluminum

Lead Time

3 days

Price

$$

Minimum Feature Size

Typically 0.016” - 0.020” (0.4 mm - 0.5 mm )

Layer Height

0.0012” - 0.0016" (0.0305 mm - 0.04064 mm)

General Tolerances

0.005” (0.127 mm) is possible for the first inch of height. For every inch thereafter, an additional 0.002” (0.0508 mm) is added to the tolerance.

Max Part Size

10” x 10” x 10” (254 mm x 254 mm x 254 mm)

EOS Aluminium AlSi10Mg

AlSi10Mg is an aluminum alloy that is typically used in casting applications and aluminum metal 3D printing. It has excellent temperature and corrosion resistance which makes it ideal for gearboxes, housings, or brackets that get exposed to high loads. AlSi10Mg 3D parts exhibit similar properties to heat-treated parts made using the T6 process, so further heat treatment on these parts is not advised. However, stress-relieving can be performed to reduce the anisotropy of the components.

EOS Aluminium AlSi10Mg Properties
Tensile Strength, Yield (MPa)Fatigue Strength (MPa)Elongation at Break (%)Hardness (Brinell)Density (g/cm^3)
Tensile Strength, Yield (MPa)

460 ±10

Fatigue Strength (MPa)

97 ± 7

Elongation at Break (%)

9 ± 2

Hardness (Brinell)

119 ± 5

Density (g/cm^3)

2.67

Finishes

Aluminum metal 3D printing results in metal with a lower density than cast aluminum, but parts can generally be finished in a similar manner.

Standard: The standard finish refers to the removal of any support structures. The surface of the part is also medium blasted to create a uniform appearance.

CNC Machining or Polishing: In some cases, CNC machining or polishing can be specified for specific features on the component. However, these are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    DMLS aluminum sample part

    Cost-saving Design Tips

    To save money on your aluminum metal 3D printing, consider the following cost-saving design tip:

    DFM: DMLS aluminum metal 3D printing can produce high-strength functional parts. When designing parts for metal 3D printing in aluminum, any enclosed areas must have holes to remove unfused powder after printing. DMLS prints generally require support structures to prevent warping as well as to support overhangs. Designs will have to take this into account. 

    Aluminum metal 3d printing can result in parts that are far lighter and have fewer individual parts than would be necessary using traditional methods. To learn how best to leverage these benefits, consult with a Xometry expert.

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