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Low-alloy steel for injection molding

Product designers and engineers can now get injection-molded low-alloy steel prototypes and low-volume production parts at rapid manufacturer Proto Labs, Inc., to complement the company’s existing stainless steel materials for metal injection molding (MIM). The company has added two nickel steel materials (Catamold FN02 and FN0205) and a chrome-moly material (Catamold 42CrMo4) that is the MIM equivalent of 4140 steel. The new metals expand the potential applications for parts produced by Proto Labs’ advanced MIM process. Proto Labs offers many different hard and soft metals through its 3D printing and CNC machining services, but nickel steel is only produced through metal injection molding, the company notes. Low-alloy steel creates strong, wear-resistant metal parts when heat-treated and is able to be coated in post-processing for further protection. The low-alloy steel materials are suitable for engine and transmission components, among other applications. In addition to rapid prototypes, Proto Labs claims it can produce up to 5000 MIM end-use parts within 15 days.

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