EDM Services for 3D Printed Parts Made from Specialty Alloys
3D printing technology is undoubtedly impressive. But it isn’t quite at the level of CNC machining when it comes to achieving tight tolerances and smooth surface finishes.
Therefore, 3D printed parts often require additional machining operations to meet all critical specifications. Many 3D printed parts also have support material that must be removed.
Typically, shops use CNC machining capabilities to perform these additional operations. But what happens when a material isn’t a good candidate for CNC machining?
Keep reading to learn why Micro-Tronics leverages our EDM services to finish 3D printed parts made from specialty alloys that are too tough to machine conventionally.
3D Printing Specialty Alloys
Many highly sensitive applications demand parts made from specialty alloys, like the hypersonic missiles one of our customers makes using a tungsten-rhenium alloy. Other examples of specialty alloys include:
- Refractory (Molybdenum, Rhenium, C103)
- Copper Alloys (GRCop-84 , GRCop-42)
- Iron-Nickel base superalloy (NASA HR-1)
- Aluminum Alloys (AlSi10Mg, AlSi12Mg, HRL-7A77, SiC reinforced AlSi10Mg,
- Titanium Alloys (Ti-6Al-4V)
- Nickel Alloys (Monel K-500)
- Nickel-based Superalloys (Inconel 625, Inconel 718, Haynes 282, Oxide dispersion strengthened Ni-Cr superalloys)
- Stainless Steels (316L SS, TiC-reinforced 316L SS, 17-4 PH SS)
3D printing has become a popular manufacturing method for parts made from specialty alloys for a couple of key reasons:
- Intricate and unique features. 3D printing can achieve intricate features that are difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional CNC machining—especially when hard specialty alloys are involved.
- Minimal material waste. Specialty alloys are expensive. As an additive manufacturing process, 3D printing wastes considerably less material than subtractive CNC machining processes, saving customers money.
Using EDM Services to Finish 3D Printed Parts Made from Specialty Alloys
Ask any CNC machinist about their experiences machining Inconel, rhenium, or other specialty alloys, and they’ll tell you stories about broken taps and cutting tools and how difficult it can be to machine traditionally.
EDM manufacturing is an excellent alternative to CNC machining when finishing 3D printed parts made from conductive specialty alloys for these primary reasons:
- Non-contact process. The EDM manufacturing process is non-contact, meaning a) there are no tools to break, and b) we can cut through hard materials without the risk of mechanical stress or chatter.
- Highly precise. EDM is highly precise and capable of achieving tight tolerances and smooth surfaces for precision parts like our customer’s missile/rocket parts.
Trust Micro-Tronics to Finish Your 3D Printed Parts
At Micro-Tronics, we have 50+ years of CNC machining and EDM manufacturing experience. We regularly machine various unusual alloys for our customers and have perfected our processes to deliver superior results every time.
If you could benefit from EDM services for your 3D printed parts, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Request a quote to work with us!