According to 3Dprint.com, Shapeways has continued to expand its materials lineup by adding aluminum. Slated to become its 54th material offering, aluminum has been perfected for the 3-D printing process following a pilot program last year.
In terms of the benefits of 3-D printing with aluminum, its strength-to-weight ratio is higher than other materials, it is corrosion-resistant, has high thermal conductivity and is ideal for interlocking parts.
To 3-D print with aluminum, Shapeways uses a process called selective laser melting (SLM), which results in strong, lightweight products. Thus, these 3-D printed products are ideal for products in the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as promotional products, such as bottle openers and sports equipment.
For more information, check out Shapeways' YouTube video about 3-D printed aluminum: