The three-dimensional printing of objects has become established in modern high-tech production, where it is known as additive manufacturing. The demand for printed components is also increasing in the aerospace industry as well – especially for components made of titanium materials. They are printed by plasma metal deposition (PMD), which can produce components of up to two meters in length.
The PMD process uses argon to create a protective atmosphere. Reactive gases help optimize the manufacturing process here and create more tolerant processing windows.
While conventional machining operations remove up to 80 percent of the raw material from components, only 10 to 20 percent of the material is lost in additive manufacturing using PMD. This saves production costs, especially with a high-priced metal such as titanium. And 3D printing also conserves natural resources.