Desktop Metal, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, USA, has qualified the use of D2 tool steel for the company’s Production System™ platform. D2 tool steel is a versatile high-carbon, high-chromium air-hardening tool steel characterised by its high hardness and compressive strength after heat treatment. The metal also offers high wear resistance properties, dimensional stability, and corrosion resistance in the hardened condition, a key benefit for conformal cooling applications.
Desktop Metal’s Production System is based on the company’s Single Pass Jetting™ (SPJ) technology, a form of Binder Jetting (BJT). D2 is used for a wide variety of cold work tools that require a combination of wear resistance and moderate toughness, such as coining and sizing tools, blanking and forming dies, shear cutting tools, gauges, burnishing tools, and other wear parts.
“Our materials science team is constantly working to develop new materials and processes to make 3D printing accessible to all industries and applications,” stated Jonah Myerberg, co-founder and CTO of Desktop Metal. “We are responding to the demand from our customers across manufacturing and industrial industries for materials like D2 tool steel that enable the production of critical forming and cutting tools, and in various other applications where high hardness is valued.”
One such application are rotating cams, used in oil & gas or chemical-processing applications to convert rotary motion into reciprocating linear motion in a machine. Typically, these parts require multiple manufacturing steps, beginning with CNC machining and following on with broaching of the spline on a separate machine. BJT enables the production of cams in a single build step, reducing both the cost and lead time of the part, while also supporting the production of numerous cam sizes in a single build to accommodate different machines, all without any fixturing or tooling required.
D2 tool steel is critical for this application because of its hardness and corrosion resistance, which ensures a longer lifetime as the cam mechanically interacts with a sliding pin. In addition, because these components are often integrated into machines operating in harsh environments, the corrosion resistance provided by D2 ensures that the parts will perform as intended and not deteriorate.
Desktop Metal’s materials science team has qualified and fully characterised D2 tool steel additively manufactured on Production System technology in accordance with ASTM testing requirements.