3D Printing Material: Metal (Binder Jetting) Stainless Steel 316

316 metal Stainless Steel binder jetting Metal binder jetting Stainless steel 316 Binder jetting metal Metal binder jetting technical part
316 metal Stainless Steel binder jetting Metal binder jetting Stainless steel 316 Binder jetting metal Metal binder jetting technical part

Stainless Steel


Overview

Here you will find all the information, tricks, know-how, and advice to help you print your 3D model in our Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 material. 

 You will learn about the:

General information & Printing Techniques

Our Binder Jetting Stainless Steel Material

Our Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 is a great metal to 3D print your small-size parts. This material is composed of a Stainless Steel 316alloy and has relatively good mechanical properties.

Stainless Steel 316 has a strong resistance against corrosion and a high-temperature resistance. These features make it a great material for tooling, molds and injection molding or to create parts to be used for the consumer goods sector.

Unpolished, the material has a silver color and a granular surface. Thanks to finishing, you can obtain a smooth and shiny surface.

To learn more, refer to our paragraph about finishes and colors.

Processing Times and Pricing

The printing price of your design is calculated automatically the moment it is placed online. As you modify your object (changing size, using batch control or hollowing feature, etc.) you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a series of factors, including: total volume, object size, and bounding box - to name a few.

The approximate shipping time for Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 is 16 days. The estimated shipping time is also calculated automatically as the object is uploaded.

Delivery time should be added to processing time and depends on the delivery option you choose.

Printing techniques

The 3D Printing technique we use for this Stainless Steel 316 material is called Binder Jetting. After your design is uploaded to the Sculpteo website, it undergoes a couple of steps before it is physically created:

  • Model transferred to 3D printer
  • Once you upload your 3D model to our website, it is received by a Sculpteo team member, who expertly places the model into the next available batch. The printer we use for 3D printing binder jetting stainless steel is an Exone M-Flex.

  • Object is 3D printed
  • Binder Jetting is a 3D printing technique that uses a binding agent deposited selectively on a powder to join the material particules. Layers of material are then bonded, t he job box lowers and another layer of powder is then spread and binding agent is added. Over time, the part develops through the layering of powder and binder. 

  • Object is cured
  • The build box is placed in an oven and cured to be solidified. 

  • Brushing and powder removal
  • The object is brushed and cleaned to remove the powder.

  • Brushing and Beadblasting
  • The object is brushed again, which removes a large portion of the powder, and beadblasted, which removes the fine powder that the brush may have missed.

  • Polishing
  • From there the object can be polished depending on the finishing you chose. Our polishing technique involves small stones in a rotating/vibrating cauldron - as the stones brush up against the object, small imperfections in the surface are smoothed. To learn more, refer to the paragraph on finishes for Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 models.




Uses and Maintenance

Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 offers high temperature resistance and can handle complex shapes. This 3D printing metal has a wide range of uses from mechanical applications, tooling, mold creation and injection molding.

The surface of the raw stainless steel is granular and slightly porous. The polished version is smoother but the layers can still be visible on rounded surface. 

The Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 can be painted, welded, powder coated, drilled, tapped, machined. 

Content Policy

Our partner Exone has a strict policy regarding the parts that we produce - in addition to our terms, we kindly remind you that none of these kinds of items can be 3D printed using Binder Jetting materials:

- Any file that would constitute a firearm

- Models that would aid in breaking the law

- Any religious content

- Any sexual content, especially any content that exploits child sexuality

Finishes

Finishing Options

There are multiple finishing options available at Sculpteo.


Finishing options:

  • Raw: sandblasted but unpolished, surface remains somewhat rough, most economical.
  • Polished: polished through mechanical polishing, smoother to touch, layers still somewhat visible on rounded objects.  
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The polishing introduces a size restriction on your object. To learn more please check out size restrictions. Moreover, not all designs can be polished, and in some cases you will be informed that the finishing you asked for is not available. In particular: wire-framed parts, fragile parts, thin-walled parts, and large flat parts cannot be polished; and part containing fluid-holding type cavities cannot be polished.

Design Guidelines

Printing Resolution

Standard layer thickness 100 µm (0.004 in)

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The layer thickness for our binder jetting stainless steel is 100 µm. Shrinkage may occur during the ExOne process. Thus, parts should be designed with following shrinkage considerations:

  • Parts up to 7.62 cm (3 in): up to 2% shrinkage (On Average)
  • Parts more than 7.62 cm (3 in): up to 3% shrinkage (On Average)   

Size Limitations


Maximum size 120 x 50 x 50 mm
Maximum size
          

The maximum size of your models are limited by the physical size of our 3D printers - nothing can be printed larger than the printer bed. The same goes for our polishing - if it doesn’t fit, it can’t be used. Moreover, please note that parts will require 18 - 20% scale up due to shrinkage in the furnace cycle. 

Minimum Thickness and Geometry of Your 3D Model

Minimum wall thickness for object  1.1 - 3.2 mm depending on build dimensions
Minimum wall thickness (rigid) 2 mm
Minimum wall thickness stemmed elements 0.8 mm with support
1.1 mm without support
Minimum wall thickness particular design aspects 2-3 mm

Diagram to show the minimum thicknessof your 3D print model

The walls of your design must adhere to a minimum thickness in order to guarantee the structure will not break. We recommend that you design your model by respecting the minimum thickness that is specific to Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 and which is variable depending on the size of your part.

  • For dimensions smaller than 76 mm (3 in): 1.1 mm (0.04 in)
  • For dimensions between 76 mm (3 in) and 152 mm (6 in): 1.52 mm (0.6 in)
  • For dimensions between 152 mm (6 in) and 203 mm (8 in) : 2.03 mm (0.08 in)
  • For dimensions between 203 mm (8 in) and 305 mm (12 in) : 3.18 mm (0.125 in)

If the walls of your model are less than 1.1 mm, you can add a support structure to maintain stability.

A stemmed element is a design aspect which is at least twice as long as it is thick. For unsupported and stemmed elements or parts of the design with a particular design constraint, it is also important to respect a minimum thickness of 1 mm in order to guarantee the object will not break.

Tips
Icon to show that you can ad a support structure to maintain
        stability

Add a support structure to maintain stability. For example, if you are modelling a bust of a person, you can attach thin aspects of the design like the ears in more places around the model’s head. Doing that will avoid cantilevered and easily breakable elements in the final print.



Good to know

Thin walls supporting large, heavy stainless steel models can warp under the weight of itself.



Sculpteo offers an online solidity check tool which highlights parts of the print that may be too thin for a print. From there you are able to tweak your design in order to create an object that is an appropriate thickness. To use it, you just need to upload your 3D file, select your material and click on the “Verification” tab.

It is also important to keep in mind that the object is meant to be printed in real life. Thus if a thin aspect is supporting something that is too heavy for it, it may break - even though it is possible within the physics provided by your 3D modeling software. We recommend adding a bit of thickness to the places that will get a lot of handling, or that support the most weight.

Do not forget
Icon to keep in mind that solidity check tool don 't detect physical aberrations

Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, parts supporting too much weight relative to its thickness, etc. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thickened.



Overhangs and Inside Edges

Overhangs must be designed to support their own weight. Unsupported features over 25.40 mm. (1.00 in.) will not be accepted.  Fillets help support overhang structures during furnace processing.


overhang_binderjetting.png

Inside edges and sharp intersections need to have a filleted edge that meets the required wall thickness minimum. Filleted edges help ensure successful part tolerances.

Knife/Pointed Edges

Knife edges/pointed edges will fail during the depowdering process.  Fillet all knife edges with a 1.00 mm (0.03 in.) radius to avoid breakage during depowdering. 

Edges that come to a point lower than the recommended tolerance are subject to rejection.  Parts will be rounded in polishing.


Pointed edges.png

Stilts

Sculpteo will typically add a stilt to your part. Stilts are necessary to allow bronze to infiltrate the part in post-processing. Stilt placement can be difficult because of part design. Texture and surface areas should be considered in designs.

  • Texture: Stilts need a smooth surface to be placed on
  • Surface area: Stilts require a surface area of 0.05in x 0.03in/ 1.27mm x 0.762mm
Part will have slight blemish from stilt removal.  We will attempt to keep the blemish miminal.  Stilt will appear more prominent depending on the selected finish.

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Etching/Embossing Depths

Minimum size of details 0.76 mm
Minimum height and width details Embossed : 0.76 mm
Engraved : 0.76 mm
Minimum height and width for a readable text 0.76 mm
Enlargement ratio 1/1


A detail’s minimum precision is mainly determined by the resolution of our 3D printers. However, during the cleaning process, a fine layer of detail can also be lost. In order for a detail and text to be visible we recommend following our recommended sizes at the very least.

It’s possible that particularly fine embossings and engravings will not be visible, as the carving could get filled with excess of powder that is later unable to be cleaned out. If an embossing or engraving is an essential part of your design we recommend making them as deep as possible. To ensure a better powder removal (thus a better detail visibility), the width of your details must be at least as big as depth.

Enclosed and Interlocking Volumes

Enclosed parts ? No
Interlocking parts ? No

interlocking no .jpg

Our Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 material is not well suited for enclosed volumes and interlocking parts. To check if your part can be manufactured with such features, you can contact our sales team. 


Piece Assembly Restrictions

Assembly ? Yes
Minimum space 0.5 mm

PA details

Objects printed in Stainless Steel can be printed to be assembled. As long as a width of at least 0.5 mm is left between the different parts of the object.

Hollowing

Hollowing ? Yes for raw parts
No for plated parts
Minimum size of hole 2.54 mm

Diagram to optimize the hollowing

Hollowing your stainless steel parts allows you to make them lighter, and reduce the price of printing but it is necessary to respect a minimum diameter. Otherwise we will not be able to remove the powder completely from the inside cavity.

Our online hollowing optimization tool has the ability to calculate this automatically.

Using the tool requires adding two holes to your model, which will serve as the drain for the excess powder material within the object. The minimum size of these holes is determined by our website. Otherwise it is possible to hollow your object manually in your 3D modeling software.

Files with multiple objects

Files with Multiple Objects ? No

Icon to show that you can't print a 3D file containing several
        objects

It is not possible to 3D print a 3D file containing several objects with our 3D Binder Jetting Stainless Steel printers.


Multiple objects and clusters

It is not possible to print a 3D file containing several objects, that's why we cannot accept files that contain clusters of multiple objects. Though, if you wish to purchase more than one identical parts, you can select the number of parts you want to order during the checkout. The more parts you order, the lower your price per part gets.

You can also use our online tools and see our tricks and tips on how to reduce your 3D printing price.


To get more information on your metal additive manufacturing service, you can  contact our qualified sales team.

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Technical specifications

Mechanical Properties Conditions Unit Value
Hardness ASTM E18  HRb 74
Tensile Modulus ASTM E8 GPa 165
Tensile strength ASTM E8  MPa 517
Elongation at break ASTM E8 % 34
Density MPIF 42 g/cm3 7.7

To learn more about binder jetting stainless steel technical specifications, refer to the following documents: 


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