Metal binder jetting, MBJ, is one of the growing additive manufacturing technologies that enables manufacturing of metallic components with high complexity and good surface quality. The Application Center for Additive Manufacturing offers services and access to the DM P2500 from Digital Metal.
Metal binder jetting, MBJ is one of the additive manufacturing technologies that open for completely new and innovative design solutions that previously was impossible or cost ineffective. With its strength of not being in need for massive use of support structures during printing, impressive quality for different features and high resolution (features as small as 1µm), the technology is promising for scaling up production yet maintaining high quality and keeping down the cost.
During manufacturing, a thin layer of metal powder is placed on the substrate, after which a printing head applies the binder at different position where one wants to bond the powder and hence create the component. This process is repeated layer-by-layer until the component is completely printed. Basically, the component is held together with help of the binder and is simply a green body (pre-sintered condition).
In contrast to PBF-LB process, the MBJ technology is not dependent on support structures as mentioned above, which in a way allows for a better usage of the entire build volume as no waste material is needed to be printed. The recyclability of the powder is much higher in comparison to the PBF processes that in addition to the support structures (waste) also affects the powder to some extent and thereby reduced the material recyclability. This is directly linked to the cost per part.
After printing, the entire build box containing both the printed green body parts as well as the remaining powder are dried, after which the green body are removed from the box. The subsequent process step involves a de-binding process, where the binder is removed through a heat treatment cycle. The final step is a sintering operation that ensure high density of the part, normally above 98 percent. If higher density is required, this could easily be done using the HIP process that is also available in the AM Center (more about the HIP process).
Manufacturer: Digital Metal
Build volume: 250 x 218 x 186 mm (extended build box)
Available materials: 316L, 17-4PH, Ti6Al4V, Inconel 625, MAR-M247 and Cu.
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