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  • 3-D-gedruckte Bälle aus Eisen und Titan, die springen können.jpg Bouncing metal ball, © Technisches Museum Wien
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Work & Production
Work & Production

A bouncing metal ball

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Metal is heavy, so it’s probably not a great material for a ball, right? Wrong! This metal ball was made on a 3D printer, creating a bouncing metal ball that would never have been possible if the metal had been cast.

New manufacturing methods are able to extract new properties from old materials. This metal ball was created using selective laser melting. The desired form (in this instance a sphere) is first simulated as a computer model and then deconstructed by the software into a multitude of thin layers. The metal in powdered form, in this case alloyed steel, is then applied layer by layer and melted on with pin-point accuracy using a laser to reproduce the desired geometry. The desired shape is created as the metal re-solidifies. (Almost) any shape can be printed out in this way, and selective densities obtained. That is the secret of the bouncing metal ball, which until now could not have been achieved using conventional metal casting methods.

Bouncing metal ball, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, 2018



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