Desktop Metal announced it has qualified the use of D2 tool steel for the Production System platform, which leverages patent pending Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology. SPJ technology can be used for the production of parts in high-strength, high-temperature applications such as cold work metal forming tools, dies, and punches as well as injection molds with conformal cooling channels.
D2 tool steel is a versatile high-carbon, high-chromium air-hardening tool steel characterized by its hardness and compressive strength after heat treatment. This tool steel is wear resistant, dimensional stable, and resists corrosion in the hardened condition, a key benefit for conformal cooling applications. D2 is used for a variety of cold work tools that require a combination of wear resistance and moderate toughness, such as coining and sizing tool members, blanking and forming dies, shear cutting tools, gauges, burnishing tools, and other wear parts.
Desktop Metal’s materials science team has qualified and fully characterized D2 tool steel printed on Production System technology in accordance with ASTM testing requirements. An example application is rotating cams.
Cams are used in oil and gas or chemical processing applications to convert rotary motion into reciprocating linear motion in a machine. Typically, these parts require multiple manufacturing steps, beginning with CNC machining, followed by broaching of the spline on a separate machine. Binder jetting enables the production of cams in a single printing step, reducing both the cost and lead time of the part, while also supporting the production of different cam sizes in one build.
D2 tool steel suits this application because of its hardness and corrosion resistance, which ensures a longer lifetime as the cam mechanically interacts with a sliding pin. In addition, because these components are often integrated into machines operating in harsh environments, the corrosion resistance provided by D2 ensures that the parts will perform as intended and not deteriorate.
The Production System
Created by the inventors of binder jetting and single-pass inkjet technology, the Production System is an industrial manufacturing platform powered by Desktop Metal’s SPJ technology. It can achieve speeds up to 100 times those of legacy powder bed fusion additive manufacturing technologies and enable production quantities of up to millions of parts per year at costs competitive with conventional mass production techniques.
The Production System platform consists of two printer models: the P-1, a solution for process development and serial production applications, and the P-50, a large form factor mass production solution for end-use parts. The Production System combines Desktop Metal engineered binders with an open material platform, allowing customers to produce high-performance parts using the same low-cost metal powders used in the Metal Injection Molding (MIM) industry. An inert processing environment enables compatibility with a variety of materials, including high-performance alloys and reactive metal powders, such as aluminum and titanium.
In addition to D2, the materials library for the Production System platform has expanded to include 420 stainless steel, nickel alloy IN625, 4140 low-alloy steel, 316L stainless steel, and 17-4PH stainless steel, each of which have been qualified by Desktop Metal. The platform also supports several customer-qualified materials, including silver and gold, and Desktop Metal plans to add additional metals to its portfolio, including tool steels, stainless steels, superalloys, copper, and more.