How Inconel is Changing 3D Printing Even though the 3D printing industry is relatively new, there are “game-changing” developments all the time. New technologies continuously change the way people in various industries think about additive manufacturing, too. One of these technologies is Inconel, which is a blend of metals that comes in various forms and types to provide a wide range of benefits depending on the application. Inconel: The Super Alloy Inconel is called a “super alloy” for multiple reasons. In Inconel 718, for example, which is the common form utilized in the aerospace industry, there are more than a dozen metals and elements. They include nickel, cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, iron, silicon, aluminum, titanium, copper, phosphorus, boron, sulfur, and niobium/tantalum – all of which come together to produce an amazing alloy that offers tremendous benefits to the industry for which it was created. In the aerospace industry, power is all about combustion, and the hotter the engine, the better and more efficient the combustion. Unfortunately, not many metals can withstand the temperatures at which jet fuel and rocket fuel burn, which means that for decades, manufacturers have had to compromise power and efficient combustion for durability. With Inconel, this is no longer the case. Inconel in Jet Engines Today’s jet engines are made of about 50% Inconel. The high-pressure section of the engine compressor contains components like discs, blades, and casings that are all made mainly of Inconel. Even some of the blades in the turbine itself are Inconel. Aside from this, you can find the super alloy in other applications, too, including in rocket engines and even in cryogenics. Inconel cannot only withstand incredibly high temperatures without structural compromise; it can also withstand incredibly low temperatures without becoming brittle. How Inconel Has Changed 3D Printing Forever Before 3D printing, engineers across all industries were very limited in what they could affordably manufacture. These manufacturing limitations also limited freedom of creativity, meaning that despite engineers’ high-tech, innovative ideas, the inability to produce the required components kept things on hold indefinitely. With the introduction of 3D printing, this changed a great deal. These days, engineers can make far more than they once could – and they can do it more quickly and for less money, too. Inconel addresses other concerns for the aerospace, automotive, food, medical, and other industries. It offers a never- before seen blend of durability, corrosion and rust resistance, heat and cold resistance, and strength that simply has not been available in years past. Thanks to Inconel, engineers and designers in these industries are no longer limited by the capabilities of technology. Inconel 3D printing can lead to some of today’s true modern marvels, and because of that, the future of 3D printing will never be the same. Thanks to Inconel 718 (and other types of Inconel, as well), 3D printing has been forever revolutionized and can now provide anyone, anywhere, in any industry with the ability to realize his or her visions. When things like angles, diameters, temperature, corrosion, exposure to water, and strength are all possible with 3D printing, there’s no turning back from additive manufacturing – and more companies than ever before are adopting it in order to keep up.