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3D printing metal bracelets

2018-04-11

three hands, each with a metal bracelet

A full metal printer was recently added to the 3D printing lab at Design Sciences. Professor Olaf Diegel has been exploring the opportunities and unique challenges of the technology.

– I started this fun little project purely as a design exercise to see if I could figure out some clever linkage mechanisms that allowed me to print metal parts with moving patterns of tiles. Once I had figured some mechanisms out, the next logical step was to transform them into a metal [additive manufacturing] demonstration piece, so I decided to expand the link mechanism into some bracelets.

With metal additive manufacturing in a powder bed fusion system, parts are welded to the build plate with support material that has to be removed after the part has been printed.

– The bracelets needed to be printable as a single component, but with suitable gaps between the moving parts so that they could be printed on a metal AM system, and then removed from the build plate and transformed into wearable jewelry with a minimum of post-processing.

With metal additive manufacturing in a powder bed fusion system, parts are welded to the build plate with support material that has to be removed after the part has been printed.

– After printing began the joyous task of post-processing. For those who are not familiar with metal AM, it is vitally important to understand that it is not easy. It requires both a large amount of time to set up a print job with the appropriate orientation and support material for the parts, to print the parts, and then a large amount of time to post-process the parts.

Read more about the design and manufacturing process of the bracelets: BLING3D: 3D printed bracelets, on Olaf Diegel’s blog. 

More information: Olaf Diegel, olaf.diegel@design.lth.se 


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