Desktop Metal launches Ti64 material for Studio System 2 metal 3D printer

Desktop Metal has qualified the Ti-6AI-4V titanium alloy (Ti64) for its Studio System 2 metal 3D printing platform.

The material is set to begin shipping in September 2021 with Desktop Metal expecting it to enable the additive manufacture of pre-production and end-use parts in low volumes. It will complement Desktop Metal’s existing 316 stainless steel, 17-4PH stainless steel, 4140 low-alloy steel, H13 tool steel and copper offerings for the Studio System 2. 

Renowned for its high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, biocompatibility and strength-to-weight ratio, Ti64 is considered suitable for use in a range of sectors, including aerospace, defence, automotive, oil and gas, and healthcare. Processing the Ti64 material on the Studio System 2 is said to return exceptional mechanical properties that exceed those set by ASTM F2885-17 standards for metal injection moulded surgical implant applications, per Desktop Metal. Tensile properties include 730 MPa yield strength, 845 MPa ultimate tensile strength and 17% elongation.

“Titanium has been a challenging material for bound metal 3D printing because it is both extremely reactive in powder form and difficult to sinter,” commented Desktop Metal co-founder and CTO Jonah Myerberg. “We are excited to be the first to commercialise the most common titanium alloy, Ti64, for [bound metal] 3D printing through our Studio System 2 solution, opening the door to more accessible production of high-performance titanium parts.”

Among the applications that Desktop Metal believes it is enabling with the launch of its Ti64 material are machine brackets, drone couplings and fuel injector nozzles. In the additive manufacture of a machine bracket, the company replaced 17-4PH stainless steel with Ti64, altered the design with a gyroid lattice infill and achieved a weight reduction of 59%. Printing a drone coupling, which is used to fasten two assemblies together on a drone frame, Desktop Metal was able to produce the part in quantities of 15-25 per week without tooling or machinery, while it produced four versions of a fuel injector nozzle in less than 24 hours.

Such capabilities are making Desktop Metal’s 3D printing offering even more attractive to industrial firms, with Privateer Space among those investing in the technology. Privateer Space is a new satellite company focused on monitoring and cleaning up objects in space and sees plenty of opportunity in being able to additively manufacture parts with Ti64.

“3D printing with titanium is incredibly valuable in industries like aerospace because of the material’s ability to support complex and lightweight designs,” added Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Privateer Space. “With the Studio System 2, the team at Privateer Space will be able to achieve the affordability and lightweighting capabilities needed to pave the way for our satellite design and launch. This technology is truly a differentiator in helping companies to accelerate innovations in space and, through the material advancements that Desktop Metal is making, we have an amazing opportunity to collaborate and keep space accessible for future generations.”

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