In this article you will learn some information to master 17-4 PH
Note: This article contains advanced information regarding Ultrafuse 17-4 PH. The default settings for Ultrafuse 17-4 PH have been tailored for good quality and reliable results, and are fully tested by our laboratory. These tips complement those settings to ensure the best quality in printing with 17-4 PH.
Ultrafuse 17-4 PH is chromium-copper martensitic precipitation hardened stainless steel designed to be easily printed with FDM technology. The maximum resistance and hardness of this material are reached after a process of debinding and sintering. It is a material with magnetic properties and is resistant to corrosion.
An abrasive material
Ultrafuse 17-4PH contains steel particles and is quite abrasive. It is recommended to print it with the BCN3D Hotend M. Otherwise, it will wear out the standard hotends, making them unusable in a very short period of time.
Check this article if you interested in knowing a little more about the reasons why you must print this filament with our Hotend M:
First layer adhesion
It is very important to print the first layer correctly to avoid deformations in the model after the debinding and sintering process. A first layer that is not well stuck or is excessively stuck to the platform will cause the deformation of the piece.
We recommend you check the printing of the first layer, to make sure that it is sticking properly to the printing surface.
If you need to update a Z offset adjustment, you can go to the screen menu calibration / manual calibration and decrease or increase the distance between the hotend and the printing surface.
We recommend enabling the build plate adhesion type to Skirt. You will find this parameter in the Build Plate Adhesion of our slicer BCN3D Stratos
Note: You will find more information about the calibration process in this article: Hotends calibration (Epsilon Series)
Scaling the piece
After the debinding and sintering process, the printed part will shrink. With the recommended printing profile of BCN3D Stratos, you must scale the piece 119% in the direction of the X and Y axes and 124% in the Z-axis, to ensure that the piece has the correct measurements.
Note: To ensure that the debinding and sintering process is performed correctly, the dimensions of the piece cannot be larger than 100*100*100mm.
The most accurate results obtained are the pieces that have a 60*60*60mm dimension.
Setting the supports
This is a material that requires a large amount of support due to the thermal processes to which the pieces are subjected to make them functional.
Furthermore, we have to increase the support density to guarantee the stability of the piece between 30 and 40%.
Let the piece cool down after the print.
Ultrafuse 17-4 PH must slowly cool down to avoid piece deformations during the sintering process because the brusque temperature changes generate tension that can break the piece.
Suggestion: Leave the piece inside the printer at least 10 minutes after the print.
Remove the piece carefully
The printed parts are quite fragile before being sintered, so it is necessary to tread them carefully and to remove the parts delicately. Once the printing surface has completely cooled down, put some water above the piece and wait until the sticker dissolves.
To remove the piece you can use a spatula and follow the steps in this article: How to safely remove prints
Suggestion: In the case being that the base of the piece is not perfectly flat, you can sand the surface to improve the flatness before the sintering.
Postprocessing the Ultrafuse 17-4 PH
Once the piece is debinded and sintered, it can be post-processed like any other metal piece, it can therefore be subjected to cutting, welding, and polishing processes.
These processes are explained in this article: Post-processing metal parts.
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