Cold fusion 3D printing metal parts
Spee3D, an Australian firm, developed a new way to build metal parts layer by layer that does not use heat. It’s a type of cold fusion, so not only are the parts fully dense, users won’t need to deal with thermal issues or other issues often involved with metal powders. In addition, Spee3D can work with copper powder.
Material is shot through a jet engine nozzle at speeds to Mach 3 and deposited in geometric patterns layer by layer. SPEE3D introduced this technology, naming it Supersonic 3D Deposition (SP3D). Because of the high deposition speeds, no heat is used to “melt” the metal powders. The kinetic energy of the particles at Mach 3 speed causes the powders to bind together to form a high density part with normal metallurgical properties. And parts can safely be handled immediately after the build.
The build plate is fastened onto the end of a six-axis robot arm. The robot moves the plate as needed to build the specific geometries commanded by the STL CAD file. The result is fast, low-cost, near net shape parts suitable for commercial and industrial applications.