As we continue to expand our capabilities to deliver the most effective 3D printing material choices to our customers, we thought it would be fun to start a new series on this blog spotlighting our materials.
Metal 3D printing is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to CNC machined metal parts, so let’s begin this series with one of the most commonly used metals in industrial 3D printing: 17-4 PH stainless steel.
What Is 17-4 PH Stainless Steel?
17-4 PH (precipitation hardened) stainless steel combines high strength, corrosion resistance, and hardness, making it a great material choice for aerospace, medical, and petroleum applications. One of the major benefits of 3D printing with 17-4 PH stainless steel is that the hardness and toughness of this metal can be manipulated during the heat treatment process.
17-4 PH stainless steel is comparable in composition to the 17-4 stainless steel you’re likely familiar with for CNC machined metal parts.
What Industrial 3D Printing Technologies are Compatible with 17-4 PH Stainless Steel?
One of the reasons 17-4 PH stainless steel is such a popular choice for industrial 3D printing applications is that it bridges the gap across all the common technologies. At RE3DTECH, we can print this material using Markforged, DMLS, or metal binding jetting equipment.
What Are Common Applications for 17-4 PH Stainless Steel?
17-4 PH stainless steel is widely used in medical applications due to its high-strength and corrosion-resistant properties.
It’s often used to create grippers for robotic surgery as the demand for these microdevices continues to grow in the medical industry. In some applications, these tools are used to excise tissues during minimally invasive surgery and release drugs in a targeted location. Grippers are extremely compatible with metal binder jetting technology, which allows for exceptional design freedom within tiny parts.
17-4 PH stainless steel is also commonly found in marine applications that must withstand saltwater and in 3D printed hydraulic manifolds that regulate the flow of fluid in a hydraulic system.
Check back next month when we’ll spotlight another material in this ongoing series. In the meantime, if you think 17-4 PH stainless steel could be the right material for your part, go ahead and request a quote!