The leading materials supplier and supply chain service provider – thyssenkrupp Materials UK, is prepared for the development of the additive manufacturing market in 3D printing with metal. The company is positioning itself as a one-stop shop for metal additive manufacturing with a wide range of metal powders, supply chain management and post-printing services. The metal powders portfolio includes a stock range of stainless steel, tool steel, nickel-based alloys, aluminium and titanium.
Billy Kingsbury, CEO at thyssenkrupp Materials UK explains: “We are observing our customers using metal additive manufacturing technology to develop prototypes, short-run manufacturing and complex one-off designs for science, engineering, aerospace, repair and maintenance. They are developing more durable and more lightweight products with the use of this technology and we are here to support their supply chains as we have done throughout the years with standard materials.”
The aerospace market is the leading industry in the UK in the adoption of metal additive manufacturing, closely followed by automotive and medical. As a business serving all of these sectors, thyssenkrupp Materials UK recognised the need for a new type of material supply in powder form. The powders that the company provides are compatible with most 3D printing technology currently available on the market. Billy Kingsbury comments: “Manufacturers in the UK are still learning how to apply the additive manufacturing technology in their production process, mostly on a trial and error basis. With years of experience in engineering, our in-house, metal powders team can support businesses in selecting the right material for their project. We also have a wide range of modification capabilities concerning alloy structure, atomisation and subsequent powder processing that allow us to manufacture and supply custom powders in batches from 50 kg.”
A common challenge the industry is facing when utilising metal 3D printing technology, however, remains final product consistency. This is often due to the required post-printing processes, including metal cutting and heat treatment, which can prove costly if manufacturers don’t have the right technology or expertise in-house. Therefore, as a specialist in supply chain management, thyssenkrupp Materials UK is supporting its customers with a full range of post-printing services. The company uses state-of-the-art technology to bring custom CNC machining to the metal additive manufacturing market. “Our technology set up throughout the UK provides an ideal solution for post-printing processes. This means our customers don’t have to manage a complex set of contractors to produce a single product that often encounters consistency issues or even varies completely. With our CNC and fabrication capabilities, we can guarantee consistency in every one of our workpieces,” adds Billy Kingsbury. “Metal additive manufacturing is the future of sustainable production. Therefore, thyssenkrupp Materials UK is ready to support our customers and the supply chains in their journey of adopting additive manufacturing technology.”