3D Printing Metal Powder

All You Need To Know About 3D Printing Metal Powder Suppliers

3D printing metal powder

3D printing metal powder is revolutionizing manufacturing across industries like aerospace, automotive, medical, and more. This advanced additive manufacturing technique builds metal parts layer-by-layer from powdered metal alloys using lasers or electron beams.

Compared to traditional metal fabrication processes, 3D printing with metal powder offers increased design freedom, faster prototyping, reduced waste, and lower costs for short runs and custom parts. However, powder metallurgy poses unique requirements on particle size, shape, composition, and other properties.

Metal Powder Manufacturing Methods

Metal powders can be produced in different ways. The main manufacturing methods include:

Gas Atomization

Molten metal alloy is atomized into fine droplets using an inert gas jet. The droplets rapidly solidify into spherical powder particles. Gas atomized powders have excellent flowability and packing density desired for 3D printing.

Plasma Atomization

Similar to gas atomization, but uses plasma torches to produce higher temperatures for superior powder characteristics. Allows a broader range of alloys.

Mechanical Alloying

Powder produced by high energy ball milling of metal powders and alloying elements. Powders have irregular shape but allow wider range of compositions.


Metal is electrolytically dissolved from an anode and deposited onto a cathode in powder form.

Chemical Reduction

Metal oxides or salts are chemically reduced using hydrogen or carbon to produce metal powders.

Metal Dehydration

Hydrated metal salts heated to remove water and produce metal or metal oxide powders.

Consolidation & Spheroidization

Irregular powders milled, pressed and spheroidized into spherical shape. Enables recycled scrap powder use.

Gas atomization is most commonly used for additive manufacturing today, producing high quality spherical powders for excellent packing density and powder bed surface quality.

Many alloys are used for metal powder bed 3D printing. Common alloys include:

Alloy TypeExamples
Nickel SuperalloysInconel 625, 718, In625, N06625, In718
Cobalt ChromeCoCrMo, Co28Cr6Mo
Titanium AlloysTi-6Al-4V, Ti64, Ti6242, TiAl6V4
Tool SteelsH13, Maraging Steel, Stainless Steels
Aluminum AlloysAlSi10Mg, AlSi7Mg0.6
Copper AlloysCuSn10, CuAl10Ni5Fe4

Nickel superalloys offer the best high temperature strength and are extensively used in aerospace engines and components.

Titanium alloys like Ti64 are known for strength, low weight and biocompatibility making them popular for medical implants and aerospace.

Cobalt chrome is primarily used for dental implants and crowns due to biocompatibility and corrosion resistance.

Tool steels and stainless steels are used for injection molds, tooling and high-strength mechanical parts across industries.

Aluminum and copper alloys are newer for metal 3D printing, enabling more applications in automotive, heat exchangers and conformal cooling channels.


DescriptionSize Range
Extra Fine15 – 25 microns
Fine25 – 45 microns
Medium45 – 90 microns
Coarse90 -150 microns

Finer powders around 20-45 microns are preferred for complex geometries and smooth surface finish. Coarser powders above 45 microns allow faster build speeds but poorer resolution. Optimal size ranges depend on the 3D printer model and capabilities.

Metal powders must meet strict specifications for 3D printing suitability:

PropertyDescriptionDesired Values
Particle Size DistributionRange of powder particle diametersTight distribution around 20-45 μm typical
Particle ShapePowder morphology – spherical, irregular etcHighly spherical particles
FlowabilityAbility of powder to flow during 3D printingExcellent flow like water
Apparent DensityPowder packing density>4.0 g/cc
Tap DensityMaximum packing density after vibration>4.5 g/cc
Oxygen ContentOxygen absorbed during manufacturing<400 ppm
Nitrogen ContentNitrogen absorbed during manufacturing<100 ppm

Spherical particle shape allows smooth powder spreading during 3D printing. Chemical purity and low oxygen content reduce defects like porosity and cracking.

Powders must also meet composition standards like ASTM B348 Grade 5 for titanium alloys and AMS 5659 for nickel superalloys.

3D printing with metals allows fabrication of end-use parts across diverse industries. Some major application areas are:

AerospaceTurbine blades, structural frames, engine components
AutomotiveCustom prototypes, specialized tools
MedicalDental crowns, implants, surgical instruments
General manufacturingJigs, fixtures, end-use parts
JewelryComplex geometries, customized designs

Metal powder-based 3D printing enables production of lightweight, high-strength parts with enhanced thermal properties suitable for harsh operating conditions seen in aerospace engines and turbine systems. It also allows creation of customized medical implants specifically matched to an individual patient’s anatomy.

There are several major global suppliers that manufacture and distribute metal powder for 3D printing processes. The table below highlights some leading companies and approximate powder pricing:

CompanyKey MaterialsTypical Pricing Range
AP&CTitanium, nickel, cobalt alloys$50 – $220 per kg
SandvikStainless steel, cobalt-chrome, nickel alloys$50 – $250 per kg
Met3DPTitanium, aluminum, stainless steel$30 – $150 per kg
Carpenter TechnologyStainless steels, cobalt alloys, titanium$100 – $500 per kg
LPW TechnologyStainless steel, aluminum, titanium, Inconel$50 – $150 per kg

Pricing varies based on composition, quality level, particle size distribution, density specifications, and purchase volume. Ready-to-print powders customized for individual 3D printer models may carry a premium.

Metal Powder 3D Printing vs Traditional Methods

Metal 3D PrintingTraditional Fabrication
Additive process builds up parts layer-by-layerSubtractive machining methods remove material
No part-specific tooling neededSignificant tooling costs for casting, machining
Design freedom for complex geometriesDesign restrictions from tool accessibility
Rapid prototypes in daysMonths for prototype tooling
Cost-effective short runsHigh volumes needed for cost-benefit
Material waste only from supportsHigh scrap rates from machining
Consolidated assembliesMulti-step manufacturing and assembly
Dense, functional metal partsAdditional post-processing often needed

Metal 3D printing enables innovative designs, faster turnaround, and economic low volume production. It complements rather than replaces conventional manufacturing which remains more suited for high volumes.

Wholesale Price: $20/Kg-$500/Kg

FAQ About 3D Printing Metal Powder

How can I contact Metal3DP customer service?

We provide 24/7 customer support. You can find our contact details on the Contact Us page, including phone, email, and online chat.

We offer various high-quality metal powders including stainless steel, high-temperature alloys, suitable for processes like laser and electron beam powder bed fusion.

With extensive metal additive manufacturing expertise, we employ advanced processes and stringent quality control to ensure the mechanical properties and surface quality of parts.

Our devices have a wide range of applications in industries like aerospace, medical, automotive, and more, providing solutions for high-performance metal components in manufacturing.

Yes, we provide custom alloy services to meet specific material requirements from clients.

Our SEBM systems excel in producing complex metal parts with exceptional mechanical properties. Key features include industry-leading build volume, precision, and reliability.

Yes, our website showcases a wide range of application cases demonstrating successful implementations of Metal3DP technology across various industries.

Get in touch with us, and our team will provide you with tailored solutions and collaboration plans based on your needs.

The turnaround time for custom services varies depending on project complexity. We will provide accurate delivery times based on your requirements.

We specialize in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), and Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) among other 3D printing technologies.


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01. We will prepare a proposal

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02. Discuss it together

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03. Let’s start building

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