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Aluminum

AlSi10Mg

Colors

Aluminum

About Aluminum

Aluminum is a light and strong material recommended for functional parts requiring high strength, stiffness, low weight and high accuracy. It’s printed using a process called Selective Laser Melting. Aluminum (alloy AlSi10Mg, 10% Silicon 0.5% Mg) also has great corrosion resistance, making it an ideal material for outdoor applications, and high electrical and thermal conductivity. It can also be machined, milled and tapped.

Common Applications

Mechanical parts, Tools and Fixtures, Bike and Drone Accessories, Structural Components

Handling and Care

Skin-Friendly
Good Electrical Conductivity
Heatproof to 570C/1058F
High Strength & Lightweight
Good Corrosion Resistance
High Electrical & Thermal Conductivity

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take before I receive a model in this material?

The production time is 15 business days with Priority manufacturing. The shipping depends on your location.

How is this material made?

Aluminum is the only metal we offer that is fused and melted using a laser from a bed of metallic powder. The 3D printing process is called selective laser melting.Fabrication takes place on a build platform with supports to anchor the part. A bed of aluminum powder sits above a build platform. One layer at a time, the powder is melted by a high powered laser. The melted powder is quickly cooled to solidify the metal. To form the next layer, the build platform is lowered and a new layer of powder is distributed with a coater. This process is repeated layer by layer until the part is complete. Horizontal areas and edges print with an automatically generated support structure to prevent the feature from sagging into loose powder. The support is then removed and polished away from the part during post-processing. Selective laser melting is unique because the high power laser provides enough energy to heat the aluminum powder above the melting point. This process fully melts the powder rather than just sintering it, creating a solid, homogeneous aluminum alloy.

Why is there a difference in surface structure?

On certain areas the surface can be slightly rougher than others, this is where supports were added during the process. The production planners do their best to orient your models optimally to minimize the amount of support structures needed. Complex geometries might have supports on hard to reach places, leaving an imperfect surface.

Technical Documents

More Materials

Decent Strength

Many Colors & Finishes

Complex Geometry

Applications
Tech Accessories
Home Decor
Games
Technology
Binder Jetting
Smooth Finish
Good Strength & Durability
Good Value
Applications
Mechanical Parts
Fixtures
Structural parts
Technology
Multi-Jet Fusion
  • Bounding Box
  • Wall Thickness
  • Wires
  • Surface Details
  • Escape Holes
  • Clearance
  • Interlocking Parts
  • Multiple Parts
  • Accuracy
  • Design Tips

BOUNDING BOX

Maximum
250 x 250 x 200 mm
Minimum
X + Y + Z > 30 mm

Your model should be the minimum and maximum bounding box sizes. The maximum bounding box represents the largest model that our printers can produce or finish can be applied to. The minimum bounding box size is the smallest dimension in which we can print in this material.

WALL THICKNESS

Min Supported Wall Thickness
1.0 mm , suggested 1.6 mm
Min Unsupported Wall Thickness
1.0 mm , suggested 1.6 mm

A supported wall is connected on two or more sides. An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides. Walls in your model should be thicker than or equal to the minimum measurements suggested to ensure your model makes it through printing. Walls that are too thin are prone to break when we remove it from the printer. Walls and wires close to or slightly above the guidelines may still be rejected based on the geometry. Whether we are able to print the minimal thickness or suggested thickness depends on the orientation of the part and whether supports are required on the feature. Our production team will communicate with you if the design is too weak with tips on how to strengthen it.

WIRES

Min Supported Wires
1.5 mm, suggested 2 mm
Min Unsupported Wires
1.5 mm, suggested 2 mm

A geometry considered a wire when its thinner in both unconnected directions than its length. Whether we are able to print the minimal thickness or suggested thickness depends on the orientation of the part and whether supports are required on the feature. Our production team will communicate with you if the design is too weak with tips on how to strengthen it.

SURFACE DETAILS

Min embossed detail
0.4 mm high & wide

0.5 mm high and 0.8 mm wide for readable text and clear
Min engraved detail
0.4 mm high & wide

0.5 mm high and 1.0 mm wide for readable text and clear

We recommend these minimum measurements for details like embossing or engraving, based off of printer resolution.

ESCAPE HOLES

Single Escape Hole Diameter
4.0 mm
Multiple Escape Hole Diameter
2.0 mm

Escape holes allow unbuilt material inside hollow products to be removed.

A single escape hole at the end of a cavity will not allow material in the corners near the escape hole to fully escape. So we recommend multiple escape holes at both ends of the cavity.

CLEARANCE

0.6 mm

Clearance is the space between any two parts, walls or wires. If the clearance between two features or parts is too small bodies can be fused together.

INTERLOCKING AND ENCLOSED PARTS ?

Interlocking parts are possible, but enclosed parts are not. During the printing process, support structures are automatically generated and built around your object to prevent it from warping. These must then be removed so your product is true to the design. It is possible to create interlocking parts, but enclosed parts require support material that is impossible or very difficult to remove.

MULTIPLE PARTS ?

No.

ACCURACY

± 0.2 mm for products under 10mm in all dimensions

± 2.0% for products over 10mm in any dimension

DESIGN TIPS

Print lines or "Stepping"

A “staircase” effect, or print lines, can occur on the surface of your print. These can become more pronounced on curved and angled surfaces.

Sharp edges may be rounded down

After printing, aluminum products are blasted with aluminum-oxide-powder (corundum) to clean them. That means small sharp edges will be rounded off.
Edges and overhang surfaces may be rough. Supports are required for overhangs in order to avoid sagging into the loose powder below. These support structures must be removed with a tool during post-processing. Surfaces which require support structures can be rough or show small imperfections due to the removal process.

Designing screws and threads

Screws or parts with threads need to be highly accurate. Printed aluminum parts cannot achieve this. Therefore, a matching screw and nut set printed with the same nominal dimensions will not fit together. If you need a perfect functional threaded part or screw, we recommend thread cutting after you receive your print. A machining allowance must be taken into account according to the “classic” rules of thread cutting..

Consider the accuracy of the process in your design

When designing holes, textures, small gaps or notches, and filigree details, you will need to consider tolerances based on the accuracy of the process in order for the details to function as intended. Exact sizes cannot be achieved and fine textures will lose detail.

More on Designing for Support Structures

Overhangs on aluminum parts must be reinforced by a support structure. This aluminum support structure must be removed thoroughly and carefully after the build process. The now exposed surface is very rough and requires polishing. Therefore, areas where support needs to be removed must be accessible with tools like pliers and files.
Generally, all parts can be supported, but removing support structures can be impossible if they are in areas which are inaccessible. Additionally, filigree details can often be destroyed during this process. To ensure that all support structures can be removed without damaging the part, do not create filigree complex part details, especially in inaccessible areas.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide hard guidelines here because the amount of the necessary support can only be seen in the data preparation process and varies from part to part.

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