Sep 1, 2014

Tungsten, also known as wolfram, is a hard, robust, rare metal and has the highest melting point of all the elements. Therefore Tungsten and its alloys have numerous applications, most notably in incandescent light bulb filaments, X-ray tubes (as both the filament and target), electrodes in TIG welding, superalloys, and radiation shielding.

Tungsten has a melting point of 3410+/-20°C and the lowest vapor pressure of the metals. At temperatures exceeding 1650°C, it has the highest tensile strength. Impure tungsten metal is quite brittle, making it difficult to work. But pure tungsten can be cut with a saw, spun, drawn, forged, and extruded.

Best, the Netherlands based medical Imaging component manufacturer Smit Röntgen, a Philips brand, started to research the potential of additive manufacturing pure Tungsten products, as a business opportunity a decade ago. By collaborating with specialists in the field, Smit Röntgen is able to offer pure Tungsten products made by Direct Metal Laser Sintering. This additive process constructs a 3D product from a digital design, by selectively solidifying thin layers of pure Tungsten according to a digital design.

With this unique technology freeform parts made out of pure tungsten can be manufactured. The laser sintering technology offers a great freedom of design and an unparalleled short design cycle: No expensive and inflexible moulds are required, and it takes only 48 hours to transform a CAD model into a final product. In addition, the process is sustainable and has low power consumption. Hardly any waste is produced during the production process and the product is 100% recyclable.

Pure tungsten is an excellent X-ray absorber, is resilient to high temperature exposure, and is environmentally safe (RoHS compliant). This technology enables high volume production of customized tungsten parts with primary advantages like design freedom, part variation and low set-up costs.

Smit Röntgen is now able to accommodate to individual customer needs and wants. "When talking to major players in medical and non-medical fields, it becomes evident that being able to 3D print pure Tungsten parts does attract global attention. By mastering this technique, the possibilities for creating new innovative products and niche markets are endless," explains Pieter Nuijts, Marketing and Sales at Smit Röntgen.

Smit Röntgen CT Tungsten Grid (collimator) 3D printed on a modified EOS M 280. 100 micron walls and 1m focal length.


Posted in 3D Printing Technology

Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive