Can You 3D Print Titanium?

When it comes to 3D printing, the range of materials that can be used continues to expand. However, not all materials are created equal. One material that is highly sought after is titanium. Known for its strength, low weight, and corrosion resistance, titanium has become an important material in many industries. But can you 3D print titanium? The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as pressing a button and waiting for the finished product. In this article, we will delve into the world of 3D printing with titanium and explore the process of creating 3D printed titanium objects.

Titanium 3D Printing Technologies

There are several different technologies that can be used for 3D printing with titanium. These include:

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
This process involves the use of a high-powered laser to fuse titanium powder together, layer by layer, until the final shape is achieved. DMLS is considered to be one of the most precise 3D printing methods and is suitable for producing complex geometries.

Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
EBM works in a similar way to DMLS, but instead of using a laser, an electron beam is used to melt and fuse the titanium powder. EBM is a faster process than DMLS and is also suitable for creating complex shapes.

Binder Jetting
This process involves depositing a liquid binder onto a layer of titanium powder. The binder acts as an adhesive, binding the powder together to create the final shape. Binder jetting is a less expensive method of 3D printing with titanium and is suitable for producing larger objects.

Challenges of 3D Printing with Titanium

While 3D printing with titanium is possible, it is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the high cost of titanium powder. Titanium is an expensive material, and the powder used in 3D printing can be even more expensive due to the high purity required.

Another challenge is the high melting point of titanium. This means that the 3D printing process must be carried out in an environment with a high melting point, which requires specialized equipment.

Finally, post-processing is required after the 3D printing process is complete. This can include polishing, heat treating, and finishing to achieve the desired surface finish and mechanical properties.

Applications of 3D Printed Titanium

Despite these challenges, 3D printing with titanium has become increasingly popular in industries such as aerospace, medical, and automotive. In aerospace, titanium 3D printing is used to produce lightweight parts for aircraft and spacecraft. In the medical industry, 3D printed titanium implants are becoming more common due to the material’s biocompatibility and strength. In the automotive industry, titanium 3D printing is used to produce parts for racing cars, where lightweight and high strength are critical.


3D printing with titanium is possible and has many potential applications. However, it is not without its challenges. The high cost of titanium powder, the need for specialized equipment, and post-processing requirements mean that 3D printing with titanium is not suitable for all applications. Nevertheless, the benefits of titanium, including its strength, low weight, and corrosion resistance, make it a highly desirable material for many industries, and 3D printing is likely to continue to play an important role in the production of titanium parts and objects.