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Introducing Fine Features, Turbo Mode for 17-4PH Stainless Steel

In the summer of 2022, we introduced a new formulation for 17-4PH Stainless Steel on the Metal X System, our most popular 3D printing metal material. Compared to our first formulation, 17-4PH v2 is easier to handle, comes in larger spools, and prints more reliably. Additionally, it yields slightly stronger parts with improved isotropic characteristics.

We are now excited to announce two new print modes to the 3D printing experience for this versatile industrial metal on the Metal X System: Fine Features and Turbo Mode. Fine Features allows users to successfully print smaller feature sizes, while Turbo Mode enables users to print parts faster.

These new features require no nozzle or other hardware changes. Online customers will obtain these new features with an automatic cloud update. Subscribed Offline users will receive these features packaged in their quarterly software update.

Read this article to learn more about using Fine Features and Turbo Mode to print 17-4PH Stainless Steel parts.

Fine Features: Copper first, now 17-4PH Stainless Steel v2

Earlier this year, we launched the Metal X’s Fine Features capability for Copper. Despite being a challenging material for many additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies, metal FFF (fused filament fabrication) is uniquely well-suited for printing pure Copper. As many parts require small details and intricacies, Fine Features for Copper unlocked access to an even wider range of electroconductive applications.

Fine Features is available as a new print mode for our 17-4PH v2 Stainless Steel material, selectable as a layer height in Eiger for solid-infill parts. In exchange for longer print times, this print mode allows users to dramatically increase the print resolution to achieve smoother surface finish, dimensional accuracy, and print smaller feature sizes — 1.) significantly improving the print quality of fine-featured parts that were printable but suffered defects, and 2.) allowing users to make new fine featured parts that were previously not printable on the system.

To print in the Fine Features mode, select “0.085 (Fine Features)” in the layer height dropdown. Fine Features prints at .1 mm layer height: the 0.085 mm value is post sinter.

Turbo Mode makes metal fabrication faster than ever

To further improve the impact of 3D printing on customer development speed and time-to-market, Markforged brought Turbo Mode to Industrial Series composite 3D printers in 2019. While high-speed printing can negatively affect part quality for many vendors in the space, Markforged developed a way to accelerate printing while maintaining a high standard for mechanical properties and surface quality.

Now, Turbo Mode is also available as a new print mode for 17-4PH v2, selectable as a layer height in Eiger for 17-4PH v2. In contrast to Fine Features, Turbo uses larger layer heights to significantly boost print speeds. Turbo Mode lets you print 17-4PH v2 Stainless Steel parts faster than ever, at the slight expense of print quality and layer resolution.

On average, Turbo Mode lets you print Stainless Steel parts 35% faster than the base print mode — though some parts can far exceed that. Turbo can materially change the throughput of a Metal X System — especially those in a 1/1/1 Print/Wash/Sinter configuration. By increasing its throughput, the printer can better match the higher throughput of the Wash and Sinter.

Turbo Mode can be used with either Standard or Solid infill, printing at a .2 mm layer height with a 0.17 mm value post-sinter. To print a Stainless Steel part in Turbo Mode, select “0.17 (Turbo)” in the layer height dropdown in Eiger.

Learn more

Interested in learning more about metal 3D printing on the Digital Forge?

Contact us to learn more.

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