FineLine Prototyping Introduces MicroFine Metal

We at FineLine Prototyping are excited to announce the launch of MicroFine Metal, the newest technology of our high-quality, precision rapid prototyping services. We are pleased to be the first in the industry to offer metal prototypes at the highly detailed resolution that we are known for producing, affording us the opportunity to serve you in new and innovative ways.

We discovered through surveying our customers that there was a great need for precision metal parts made quickly. We set about finding a solution that produced precision, full-strength metal parts that our customers could order as quickly and easily as plastic parts. After two years of research and development, we are happy to now have that service in place. We can now meet the needs of our customer base by producing prototypes – and even production-ready parts – in stainless steel and aluminum.

More specifically, the following materials are available as part of our MicroFine Metal service offering:

MicroFine Metal Direct:

  • Stainless Steel 17-4PH
  • Stainless Steel 316L

MicroFine Metal Casting:

  • Aluminum 6061-T6 (A356.2-T6)
  • Aluminum 2024-T7 (B206.2-T7)

MicroFine Metal parts are built in micro-resolution (.001” layers), making extremely fine details possible. The MicroFine Metal Direct process has a working build envelope of 3.5” by 3.5” by 3”. The process is capable of resolving features down to .005”. Tolerances of +/-.002” or better can be expected on features under 1”. Surface finish of the parts as built is approximately 130 microinches RMS.

The current limitations of the Microfine Metal Casting process are a maximum part dimension of 3”, maximum part volume of 1.5 cu. in., and minimum feature size of .010”. Tolerances of +/- .003” can be expected for features less than 1 in. and +/- .005” for features greater than 1 in. Surface finish of the parts as cast is very fine at approximately 32 RMS – similar to die-cast parts.

We offer finishing options to improve on surfaces if needed. In addition to our standard finishes, optional finishing procedures such as anodizing, electropolish, hand polish, and powder coating/painting are available to meet your every need. If tighter tolerances are required, we offer secondary machining operations such as drilling, slotting, milling and reaming. Discuss your needs with our quoting staff and we will help you select the best finishing method for your part.

For your convenience and just like with our other services, you may upload your files via our online quoter and simply select “metal” as your material choice to get started. A typical turnaround time is 2-4 business days for parts built using MicroFine Metal Direct and 5-6 business days for parts built using MicroFine Metal Casting.

We are very excited about this new service and the ability to now offer precision production-level quality metal prototypes with the ease and speed of plastic parts.

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