Researchers in central China’s Hubei province have successfully manufactured metal parts and molds using new 3D printing technology. The new metal 3D printing technology addresses existing problems in traditional metal 3D printing methods, said Zhang Hai’ou, leader of the 3D printing technology research team at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology. These problems, such as flowing, dropping or crumbling of fused materials due to gravity, cracking, stress and rapid heating and cooling can severely affect modeling performance and accuracy, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang as saying.
After over a decade of research, Zhang and other researchers have independently developed the new method of metal 3D printing, called “intelligent micro casting and forging.” The method combines metal casting and forging technology and significantly improves the strength and ductility of metal molds to expand their life and reliability, he said. The invention has also reduced the costs for forging equipment and raw materials through a computer-controlled modeling process, Zhang said. The technology has been awarded both national and international patents.
It can be applied in the aerospace, medical, and auto industries, among others, Xinhua report said.