DED over metal 3D printing method is defined as a metal additive manufacturing process to create parts by melting and fusing deposited materials. Customers choose DED in 3D printing technology because it is highly deposited and can additively manufacture large parts.
DED is generally used for rebuilding and repairing damaged components. It can also be directed toward manufacturing new parts. DED as a significant metal 3D printing technology can be used in industries like oil & gas, marine industry, and aerospace and defence.
What is the process of working with DED?
The different names of Direct Energy Deposition are 3D laser cladding and directed light fabrication. Moreover, some methods modelled on DED are used interchangeably: Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing, Wire Arc Additive manufacturing, and Laser Engineered Net Shaping. The principle lying behind these methods is the same. However, these processes are a little bit different from each other in their work process.
In the DED additive manufacturing process, the feedstock material that comes in the form of either wire or metal powder is driven to a feed nozzle. Here, an energy source like an Electron Beam or Laser helps to melt the feedstock material. Both the energy source and feed nozzle are deposited on a robotic arm.
This process occurs in a hermetically sealed chamber. In order to control and protect the material properties from oxidation, the second chamber is filled with inert gas.
Generally, DED 3D printers require a controlled environment to operate. The machines are with very large footprints. So, DED possesses a nozzle deposited on a multi-axis arm inside a controlled and closed frame. This frame leaves melted material onto the workpiece surface, where it coagulates. In the DED method, a nozzle can move in different directions with five axes.
Materials used in DED
The materials used in DED are titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, stainless steel, tool steels, maraging steels, nickel-copper, superalloys, and other functionally graded materials. These materials are cheaper than metal powders applied in powder-bed metal AM.
Advantages of DED 3D printing machines
DED technology has been used for many years and has many advantages.
Helps in repairing parts
DED is considered a good solution for repairing functional metal parts because DED can control the gain structure of a part.
Produces large 3D printed parts
Some DED methods can repair large metal parts. For instance, the Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing process produces large parts, which are 6 metres in length. On the other hand, powder-bed metal AM processes repair smaller parts.
Generally, DED machines can deposit materials at a high-speed rate. For instance, some DED processes can deposit up to 11 kg of metal per hour.
Low Material Waste
In the SLM process, the powder is deposited on the platform to be mingled together. This leaves behind plenty of unfused powder that can be reused.
On the other hand, in the DED method, only the required amount is deposited. This process does not leave behind waste material to recycle. DED process leads to efficient material use and cost savings.
Achieve Strong Material Properties
In DED, during the manufacturing process, custom alloys are created by mixing powders or wires. The technology helps to build a gradient between two different materials within the same platform. Thus, DED achieves strong material properties for a part.
High Quality Metal Parts
DED creates high-quality metal parts with mechanical properties. This production is better than comparable cast or wrought materials. Parts produced in the DED method take the form of near-net shapes. It means the metal parts produced will need very little post-processing.
Hybrid Manufacturing Solution
DED creates a hybrid manufacturing solution by integrating into machining centres. DED produces and repairs highly complex metal parts faster and more flexibly by depositing feed nozzles on a multi-axis machining system.
The different DED methods are Electron Beam Additive manufacturing DED method, Laser Direct Energy Deposition method, and Arc Directed Energy Deposition Machines.
Applications Of DED Methods
DED method can be used in different industries like aerospace, defense, oil & gas, marine, and architecture. The aerospace industry produces structural parts for satellites by using DED technology.
DED method not only produces metal parts but also repairs damaged parts. DED allows reducing downtime and costs related to part replacement. It also extends the life of the part.
Moreover, DED technology modifies 3D printing machine parts.
AddUp Solution offers DED machines, which can fulfil your needs in respect of part size and manufacturing complexity. DED has many advantages for industries that require the efficient repair of large-size high-value equipment and metal parts.
As the technology creates hybrid manufacturing solutions, there is the scope of expansion of this technology in the future. The industries can expect innovative and cost-effective production by using the DED technology.