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3-D printing of copper and brass

  • 1.  3-D printing of copper and brass

    Posted 07-09-2020 15:51

    What is the current status of 3-D printing in red metals like copper and brass.


    As well as the density of these metals when printed.


    If possible to print, can the parts coming off the 3-D printer be used for electrical parts?

    John Krebs
    Hartford WI
    (262) 644-5100

  • 2.  RE: 3-D printing of copper and brass

    Posted 07-10-2020 08:27
    Hi John,

    I think 3D printing of especially copper is still in early stage. Markforged has demonstrated the 3D printing of copper using one of its 3D printers. For now, the results are mostly on electrical and thermal properties of these materials.

    Emmanuel Ekoi
    Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
    University College Dublin

  • 3.  RE: 3-D printing of copper and brass

    Posted 07-11-2020 10:37
    Copper has been proven by laser processing and some system manufacturers offer it as a standard. New green/blue lasers will improve things as this type of laser couples more efficiently to copper. Copper has also been processed by binderjet printing. Similar to MIM (Metal Injection Molding), it is difficult to get very high densities so conductivity will be slightly less than maximum. Both processes (laser and binderjet) produce a print that is dead soft (fully annealed). It is not possible to add strength via subsequent heat treatments.

    Brass cannot be processed by laser methods as the zinc in the alloy volatilizes and obliterates the laser. I have heard claims that you can get around this with increased gas flow but I'm not convinced. in most likelihood your microstructure will be porous from the zinc evaporation.  Binderjet processing of brass will also be very difficult. The nascent brass powder will have a coating of zinc oxide on it, which will prevent sintering. Brass MIM is not practiced so it follows that brass binderjetting would not be possible, either.

    Joseph Strauss
    Queensbury NY
    (518) 792-8733

  • 4.  RE: 3-D printing of copper and brass

    Posted 07-12-2020 15:35
    Hi John

    The more dense form I can imagine is via cold gas

    We are active in this field.

    Antonio Vila

    Cromomed SA

    Antonio Vila
    Cromomed SA
    Puerto Sagunto
    34 962 690794

  • 5.  RE: 3-D printing of copper and brass

    Posted 07-12-2020 22:31
    What would be the real production cost of 3D metal printing versus classic procss ?


    Marin Manole
    Foundry Metallurgist
    Coffeyville KS
    (616) 227-1668

  • 6.  RE: 3-D printing of copper and brass

    Posted 8 days ago
      |   view attached
    Hi John,

    Wanted to contribute to the discussion by mentioning that Australian OEM SPEE3D is able to 3D print copper parts in air via cold spray with high density and good electrical conductivity. Because the process is quick, highly automated and without the use of inert gases, parts can be competitive with traditional casting.

    Gerardo Ortiz
    3D in Metal
    Spring TX