3D Printing

3D Printing Services

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Maximum size: 880*800*390mm

3D Printing Services
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3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a rapid prototyping technology used for cohesive metal powder printing. It builds up plastic material layer by layer based on digital model files.

This technology typically utilizes a digital material printer to create prototypes for mold manufacturing and design in various industries, facilitating direct product production. 3D printing has been successfully implemented across a wide range of applications, including medicine, education, architecture, engineering, aerospace, and more, gradually permeating all aspects of life.

3D Printing Technology

3D Printing Technology

We have a fleet of over 40 3D printers capable of producing plastic, metal, and elastic parts. At CONOVAWELL, we can manufacture your 3D-printed parts in as little as one day. In addition to offering a variety of materials, we also provide various finishing options to enhance appearance and mechanical properties.

SLA:

SLA stands for Stereolithography Appearance.

In the SLA process, an ultraviolet laser with a specific wavelength and intensity is directed onto the surface of photocurable materials. This causes the material to solidify from point to line, and from surface line, layer by layer. As each layer is solidified, the build platform moves vertically to allow for the solidification of the next layer. This process continues until all layers are stacked to form a three-dimensional model.

SLA is suitable for producing precision components or parts with complex structures, offering rapid processing speeds, and maintaining precision errors within ±0.05mm.
Maximum dimensions: 880*800*390mm

3D Printing Technology
Advantages of SLA

Advantages of SLA

  • Stereolithography Appearance (SLA) is among the earliest technologies for rapid prototype manufacturing, boasting high maturity and proven reliability over time.
  • CAD digital models can be directly translated into prototypes without cumbersome processes. Unlike some similar technologies, SLA doesn’t require cutting tools or molds, enabling quick processing and significant time savings for manufacturers.
  • It excels in producing intricate prototypes and molds that are challenging for conventional methods.
  • By visualizing CAD digital models and addressing potential issues upfront, SLA reduces costs and streamlines production.
  • The availability of experimental samples facilitates effective verification and inspection of computer-simulated calculation results.
  • SLA can be operated online and remotely controlled, offering benefits for achieving automated production.

Disadvantages of SLA

  • Operating and maintaining an SLA system can be costly due to high system costs.
  • Strict operating environments are necessary for SLA systems, as they are precision devices working with liquid.
  • SLA-printed parts are primarily resin-based, offering limited strength, rigidity, and heat resistance, which may not be ideal for long-term preservation.
  • Pre-processing and driving software require extensive computation and significantly impact processing outcomes.
  • Operating complex software systems can be challenging, leading to difficulties in getting started, especially since many designers are unfamiliar with file formats.
  • Stereolithography Appearance technology is dominated by specific companies, resulting in limited market competition.
Disadvantages of SLA
Development tendency and the prospect of SLA

Development tendency and the prospect of SLA

The future direction of SLA technology points toward high speed, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and miniaturization.
With its ongoing enhancements in processing accuracy, SLA holds immense promise in fields such as biology, medicine, and microelectronics.
Creating a schematic diagram of SLA is a possible next step.

Selective Laser Sintering( SLS laser molding ) 

SLS is one of the 3D printing technologies, most use powder materials and adopt the energy of an infrared laser.

During processing, the powder material is first preheated to a temperature close to its melting point. Next, the powder is spread and leveled using a scraping stick. A laser beam then selectively sinters the powder layers, guided by sectional information provided by a computer. This process is repeated layer by layer until an integral sintered part is formed, with excess powder removed after sintering. Currently, commonly used processing materials include wax powder and plastic powder, while research on sintering metal powder or ceramic powder is ongoing.

Technical principles of SLS

The forming principle of Selective Laser Sintering as below picture shows:

Technical principles of SLS

1) Powder particles are stored in the feed bin on the left side. During printing, the lift platform in the feed bin rises and pushes the powder above the print plane to the printing plate in the printing bin by spreading the powder roller, forming a thin and flat powder layer.

2) At this point, the laser beam scanning system selectively scans the powder layer according to the 2D CAD path. The scanned powder particles are sintered together under the high temperature of the laser, forming a sheet with a certain thickness, while areas not scanned remain loose powder.

3) Once one layer is sintered, the printing platform drops according to the height of the slice, and the horizontal roller paves the powders again before starting to sinter a new layer, while simultaneously fusing the layers.

4) This process is repeated until all layers are sintered. Then, the unsintered powder is removed and recycled, resulting in the final solid printed model.

Materials used include plastic powder, a mixture of ceramics and binder powder, a mixture of metal and binder powder, etc. At Conovawell’s factory, we utilize Nylon (FS3300PA) and nylon + Glass (FS3400GF) in SLS technology.

Advantages of SLS

SLS technology is a method of layering discrete points to create a three-dimensional model. It employs a carbon dioxide laser to selectively fuse powder materials, including plastic powder, a mixture of ceramics and binder powder, a mixture of metal and binder powder, etc.

Materials and finished products

Materials and finished products

As a novel manufacturing technology, SLS differs from conventional methods like CNC and SLA in traditional prototype manufacturing. SLS can produce parts from metal, plastic, or a combination of both. Currently, the commonly used material for SLS domestically is PA12. SLS directly creates three-dimensional parts from solid powder materials, allowing for the fabrication of complex structures and curved surfaces without the need for assembly. This capability transforms CAD models into tangible parts. SLS is recognized for its maximum complexity coefficient in prototyping, broad application range, and low operational costs. It significantly reduces product development lead times, lowers development costs, accelerates product updates, and enables rapid responses to market demands, thereby enhancing a company’s core competitiveness.

SLM(Selective Laser Melting)

SLM (Selective Laser Melting) is the predominant technology in 3D printing. It utilizes finely focused laser beams to rapidly melt metal powder on-site, resulting in parts with diverse shapes and fully metallurgically bonded structures. The density of the produced parts can reach at least 99%.

Main advantages of metal 3D printing

Many individuals believe that CNC machining is capable of producing all types of parts. However, in some cases, a new tool or device must be created before manufacturing a part with highly intricate structures. This is where metal 3D printing shines, as it can produce complex-shaped parts without limitations.

Main advantages of metal 3D printing
3D printing

Advantages of metal 3D printing

  • Compared to traditional manufacturing methods, 3D printers can achieve intricate details more quickly, at a lower cost. Depending on the selected technology, they can create delicate parts with tiny structures. Additionally, 3D-printed parts with complex structures are lightweight without compromising strength, making them highly sought after in the aviation industry. Metal 3D printing minimizes material waste. In summary, when other technologies struggle to produce complex and delicate parts efficiently, 3D printing is the preferred option.

Disadvantages of metal 3D printing

  • 3D printing has its drawbacks. Firstly, it is not as fast or cost-effective for producing standard components, making it impractical for mass production. Additionally, metal powders used in 3D printing are more expensive than conventional metals. Traditional part manufacturing processes are generally faster. Metal 3D printers are costly investments and may require surface treatment and finishing. Moreover, the accuracy of 3D printing is lower compared to CNC machining, with a larger margin of error. Sometimes, additional heat treatment is necessary to reduce internal stress during printing. Lastly, 3D printing cannot produce large-sized parts.

Materials

Currently, Conovawell offers metal 3D printing services for titanium alloy, stainless steel, and aluminum alloy. Each metal possesses unique advantages in terms of performance, weight, and corrosion resistance. Our engineers are available to recommend the most suitable material to achieve optimal cost-effectiveness.

Finish services

Metal 3D printing may require additional finishing to address its limitations. At Conovawell, we provide comprehensive post-processing services. Our CNC machines are capable of removing excess material through milling, turning, drilling, and grinding. Additionally, we offer a range of finishing services to ensure that you receive parts with the desired appearance.

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