Industry Proto-mold Co., Ltd.
Industry Proto-mold Co., Ltd.

Application Areas of Titanium 3D Printing Technology

Titanium 3D printing in dental and orthopedic fields

Titanium alloy has the advantages of high temperature resistance, high corrosion resistance, high strength, low density, and biocompatibility. Among the metal materials used for repairing human hard tissues, the elastic modulus of Ti is closest to that of human hard tissues, about 80-110 GPa, which can reduce the mechanical mismatch between the metal implant and bone tissue. Therefore, titanium alloy has broad application prospects in the medical field and is increasingly valued by physicians and patients.

In the beginning, pure Ti and Ti6Al4V were mainly used clinically to represent titanium alloys. In the mid-20th century, the United States and the United Kingdom first applied pure Ti to the human body, and China began to apply artificial titanium hip joints to clinics in the early 1970s. Pure Ti has good corrosion resistance in physiological environments, but its strength and wear resistance are poor, thus limiting its application in load-bearing parts, mainly for oral repair and bone replacement in smaller load-bearing parts. Compared with pure Ti, Ti-6Al-4V alloy has higher strength and better processing performance. It was initially designed for aerospace applications and was widely used as surgical repair materials, such as skull repair parts, bone plates, etc. in the late 1970s.

For a long time, research on titanium alloys mainly focused on Ti6Al4V. However, because A and V elements are harmful to the human body, research has shifted to new β-type titanium alloys without Al and V, such as TiZrNbSn, Ti24Nb4Zr7.6Sn, etc.

Today, 3D technology is suitable for orthopedic surgery assistance and bone replacements. Surgical assistance refers to printing simulated bones and auxiliary guide plates based on the patient's injury or the need to remove some data, using simulated bones and guide plates to study cutting positions, drilling positions, drilling depths, etc., greatly improving the quality of surgery, reducing surgical risks and difficulties, shortening surgical time, and reducing patient pain. The bone prosthesis uses 3D printing technology to directly manufacture lightweight and porous bones, which is beneficial to the live activation of the bone prosthesis. This can regenerate human tissue cells in the gap, and the customized prosthesis and bone have the same shape as the patient's body, achieving an effect close to that of human bones.

Titanium 3D printing in the field of hand plates and molds

3D printing also has unique advantages in the field of hand plates and molds. On the one hand, compared with traditional methods, 3D printing is controlled by computers and strictly follows the dimensions drawn by 3D software.

For complex parts, there are no manufacturing path restrictions, which can greatly reduce the preparation time of models and molds, improve model accuracy and quality. Especially for super-complicated curved surface parts, 3D technology can complete this work in one week or even a few hours at low cost.

The use of 3D technology in prototyping complex parts eliminates the manufacturing path restrictions, leading to reduced model and protomold preparation time while enhancing accuracy and quality. This is particularly beneficial for super-complicated curved surface parts, as 3D technology can deliver results within a week or even a few hours, with the added advantage of lower protomold costs.

Titanium 3D printing in the aerospace field

Titanium alloy parts prepared by traditional forging and casting technology have been widely used in high-tech fields, but due to high product costs, complex processes, and long delivery cycles, their application scope is limited, especially for customized aerospace requirements, which highlights the shortcomings of traditional processing methods.

"Lightweight" and "high strength" have always been the main goals of aerospace equipment manufacturing and research and development, and metal parts manufactured by 3D printing fully meet their equipment requirements.

Metal prototyping has emerged as an essential application area for titanium 3D printing technology, offering a perfect solution for creating lightweight and high-strength components for aerospace equipment. With the aid of 3D printing, manufacturers can now efficiently produce metal parts that align with the demanding requirements of aerospace manufacturing and research and development.

First of all, 3D printing technology integrates conceptual design, technical verification, and production manufacturing into one, and can quickly achieve small-scale product innovation, shorten R&D time. By 3D printing some parts, material savings can be achieved. The unique additive manufacturing technology of titanium alloy 3D printing can have a material utilization rate up to 90%, reduce production costs, without complex traditional processes, shorten manufacturing time, and can produce complex-shaped parts.

3D printing can also be directly used for repairing and manufacturing parts. Aerospace parts have complex structures and are costly. Once defects or shortages occur, it may cause losses of hundreds of thousands or even millions of RMB. 3D printing technology can use the same material to repair the damaged parts into complete shapes, and the repaired parts' performance will not be affected, greatly saving time and money.

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