Looking at the current problems of 3D printed materials from the 2025 technology roadmap made in China

In addition to graphene, superconducting materials, intelligent bionics and metamaterials, there are also hot 3D printing materials in recent years.

Unlike other cutting-edge materials, 3D printed materials have some special features. Under the background of “double innovation”, there are various innovation and entrepreneurial exhibitions all over the country. These activities, you may find it difficult to see graphene, superconducting materials, intelligent bionics and metamaterials, but you can certainly see 3D printed materials and 3D printing.

In the previous support programs involving new materials, 3D printed materials were not listed. This time, the technical roadmap made a more detailed plan for it.

Sogou screenshot 15 years, November 16, 0910_5.jpg

Since it is an important plan, the indicators mentioned in the technical roadmap are inevitably crucial, but at the same time they are currently difficult to achieve. If it can be easily achieved, then it is not necessary to be a ten-year plan. (The difference between the goal and the reality of the lithium-ion battery that can be submitted from the material network). Therefore, we can see from another angle what problems exist in current 3D printed materials.

3D printing material development focus

First of all, 3D printing metal is still difficult. The technical roadmap clearly identifies three 3D printing materials, namely low-cost titanium alloy powder, iron-based alloy powder, and high-temperature alloy powder, all of which are metal powders. Therefore, the technical roadmap called 3D printed materials is basically equivalent to the development route of 3D printed metal powder materials.

This shows that 3D printing is not mature with respect to plastics. This is also very close to our intuitive experience. The domestic use of low-end plastics on the market, and industrial-grade, high-end metal powder development.

Densification is a big problem. The technical roadmap proposes to solve the problem of densification for iron-based alloy powders and high-temperature alloy powders, and metal powder densification technology is again mentioned in key technologies and equipment planning.

Sogou screenshot 15 years, November 16, 0910_6.jpg

The degree of densification is not high, meaning that there are pores inside the material. The presence of these pores will greatly affect the mechanical properties of the material, making the material very brittle and resistant to corrosion, which is difficult to be used as a structural member.

The metal 3D printing, currently mainly metal powder feeding, laser sintering molding, the density can not catch up with the traditional method (except for some materials). Therefore, the parts obtained by 3D printing metal powder have a large gap with the physical properties of the parts of the traditional manufacturing process, which is difficult to match.

For the 3D printing of titanium alloy powder, it is said that there is no problem in the mechanical properties of the large components, so the technical roadmap proposes to break the low cost of the titanium alloy powder.

The lack of evaluation systems is also a key issue for 3D printed metal powders. The technical roadmap proposes to establish an evaluation system for metal powders and an evaluation system for products. Of course, this is also a problem that new materials must encounter in the process of industrialization.

Overall, from the perspective of the roadmap for technology development, the market for 3D printed metal powder has a clear positioning: aerospace complex parts printing powder. At the same time, it means that in the past ten years, other fields are not the "dish" of metal powder. The so-called "substitution" and "subversion" of 3D printing may disappoint you.

(Editor)

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