3D-printed workshop wrench offers 100% of the strength with just 70% of the material

Look at these wrenches and you’ll almost instantly notice something different about them. Unlike the die-cast wrenches you see with solid metal bodies, these unique tools from Desktop Metal come with a textured inner surface, featuring multiple holes and cavities. The inner surface of these wrenches use a gyroid-style in-fill, commonly seen in 3D printing to fill up inner spaces with support material while conserving plastic. The gyroid inner mass gives these metal wrenches their strength while simultaneously cutting down on material and weight. The result is the same, functional tool but with nearly 30% less mass and weight.

Designer: Desktop Metal

This sort of intricate manufacturing is only achievable using 3D printing. In this case, the wrenches are fabricated using a process known as Single Pass Jetting, a proprietary form of metal 3D printing developed in-house by Desktop Metal. The prototype wrench is less of an actual product and more of a showcase of Desktop Metal’s capabilities, with its extensive range of metal printing machines that cover industrial and consumer-grade use-cases.

The result of Desktop Metal’s SPJ printing is quite remarkable. The parts have a much higher and more uniform density (up to 99%) than other metal 3D printing methods while being much faster too. The way single-pass jetting or binder jetting technology works is that it uses a binding material in a vat of powdered metal to create metal products rather than using lasers to fuse metallic dust together. Once the part is made, it’s sent into a furnace for the sintering process, which causes the metallic parts to fuse together and the binder to melt out in the process. You can read more about it here.