3D printing - here’s how it works
In 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, material is usually applied in layers and melted with a laser to create three-dimensional objects. The engine pistons described here were printed using the LMF process, in which a laser beam is applied to fuse metallic powder one layer at a time to create a solid metal component. MAHLE’s engineers have developed a printable powder for this process based on a proven aluminum alloy used in piston casting. This powder is subject to a number of requirements regarding purity and composition. The printing results were finally examined in detail by the measurement technology specialists at Zeiss, using equipment such as scanning electron microscopes and X-ray CT scanners.