BINDER JET 3D PRINTING

FOR HIGHLY COMPLEX METAL GEOMETRIES

Hate Expensive Tooling?

Long Lead Time To Produce Complex Metal Parts?

“BINDER JET

3D PRINTING

IS THE SOLUTION”

Do You Have A Binder Jet 3D Printing Project We Can Help With?

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Advantages

  • No upfront tooling, samples within days!

  • Design changes? No issues!

  • Small to medium volume production capability (50~50,000 parts/year)

  • Highly complex geometry feasible, provides 360 degree design freedom

  • Material properties similar to MIM materials

Binder-Jet 3D Printing

Conventional subtractive metalworking processes generate a lot of waste and are time-consuming. These process routes are also very restrictive on product design freedom.  On the other hand, Binder-Jet 3D printing process is a form of the additive manufacturing process that results in minimum OR no wastage and offers almost 360-degree freedom on the design of the components.

Also called as  Metal Jet 3D printing, the Binder-Jet 3D printing process is an evolution of another decade + older AM process called Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Binder-jet 3D printing enables the production of proto-samples within days, involves no upfront tooling costs. The process allows infinite design changes during product development without time delay helping the design engineers to get to their optimum design quickly and at the lowest cost.

How does Binder-Jet 3D Printing work?

During the Binder-Jet printing process, fine metal powders are spread in thin layers inside a build box. The layer thickness can be 0.03~0.07 mm (0.0012”~0.0027”). The layer thickness directly influences the resolution of the printed part. A system of print heads deposit binder material over the powder layer. This process is repeated thousands of times until the full image of the part is printed within the build box. The printed component is called the ‘green component’. The number of parts within the build box per print cycle depends on the size of the components printed.

The build box is moved to a curing oven where the binder material is allowed to cross-link so that the stronger polymer chains hold the metal particles stronger. After the curing process, the build box is moved to a de-powdering station where the loose powder particles that are not touched by the binder are removed through vacuum suction. This process releases the printed green parts for further processing.

The green parts go through de-binding where part of the binder material holding the shape together is allowed to evaporate. At this stage the components are referred to as brown components.

The brown components are sintered in vacuum sintering furnaces. The sintering process is very similar to the process used for producing metal injection molded (MIM) components. Post-sintering, the material properties are very similar to the MIM material with 98% density. Material properties and density can be further improved through HIPing process.   The sintered components can be finish machined, heat-treated or plated using conventional process steps.

Binder-jet 3D Printing  at INDO-MIM

Materials

Currently, we offer 17-4PH stainless as the primary material option (material data sheet is available on request). We plan to introduce the following material options during 2021 & 2022:

SS 420, SS 316, ASTM 4650, Tool Steels S&, M2, Inconel 625 & Inconel 718 etc

Binder Jet 3d Printing Material

Design Guidelines

  • Part weight: 10~500 grams
  • Wall thickness: 0.80 minimum
  • The surface finish as sintered: 250 microinches
  • The product geometry should allow easy removal of loose powder during de-powdering
  • Generous corner radius, smaller L/D ratio on all the features recommended
  • Part feature resolution less than 0.20 mm will be difficult to achieve

Strategic Partnership with Desktop Metal

In 2018, INDO-MIM signed an MOU with Desktop Metal, Boston, USA ( a pioneering company in the Binder-Jet 3D printing field) on adopting the technology to the mass market. The first-ever production printer utilizing binder-jet 3D printing technology is installed at our San Antonio, TX USA location during spring, 2020. The equipment is currently producing proto-samples to customer supplied CAD models.

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Innovation with INDO-MIM

We are a global leader in producing Metal Injection Molded components to diverse industries. We also offer investment casting, Ceramic Injection Molding, & Precision machining options to our customers.

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