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3D printing

METAL BINDER JETTING

Mimest uses the additive manufacturing technology called "binder jetting". Technology that blends the advantages of additive manufacturing - flexibility, geometric freedom, speed - with those of MIM - absence of supports, good surface finish, high-performance materials.

THE PRODUCTS

Thanks to binder jetting 3D printing Mimest is able to create almost any shape imaginable in a very short time to create objects characterized by excellent mechanical properties, impeccable surface finish, high precision - both for prototyping and in significant volumes for production.

THE STAGES OF THE PROCESS

Our additive manufacturing technology can be summarized in 4 steps.

1 - 3D PRINTING

In the first phase, the 3D printer constructs the desired shapes by superimposing levels of a few micrometers each alternating the deposition of very fine metal powders with jets of binder deposited only where necessary. Due to the absence of melting during the deposition, no support is needed to maintain the shape and position of the workpieces.

2 - DEPOWDERING

Once the printing is finished, the printed parts are then removed from their metal powder bed, while the excess powder is removed and reused to produce other pieces. At this point the pieces are equivalent to the "greens" of the MIM.

3 - DEBINDING

The binder can now be removed through a debinding phase, usually by evaporation of the binder, to obtain also in this case a so-called "brown", fragile and porous piece.

4 - SINTERING

Finally, as for MIM, the pieces are brought inside furnaces at a temperature close to the melting point to allow the sintering of metal powders and the obtaining of compact objects. At this stage the volume is reduced by about 20%, the pores close and an almost perfect density is obtained.

POST TREATMENTS

Once sintered, the components made through additive manufacturing are mechanically and chemically substantially equivalent to those made with other technologies, and can consequently be finished with all the mechanical, thermal or chemical after-treatments necessary to obtain the finished product.

ADVANTAGES

Binder Jetting printing technology offers the advantages of combining traditional 3D printing with MIM, including:

  • No equipment needed: production can start minutes after the completion of the drawing.
  • Design freedom: lightweight components, empty or unloaded, organic shapes previously unthinkable, are now possible. In addition, for the first time, already assembled items can be printed.
  • Low costs: compared to other additive technologies, but also compared to MIM in the case of small components, Binder Jetting is cost competitive.
  • Accuracy of detail: thanks to a precision of the order of a few micrometers, it is possible to create details suitable for the most precise mechanisms or the most demanding uses.
 

APPLICATIONS

The size and geometry of an article direct the choice towards this technique. In particular, previously impossible processes such as the customization of each individual component, organic shapes and assembled geometries finally become possible. It should also be remembered that the smaller the size of the piece, the greater the economic convenience in choosing this technique, both for the optimization of the built box and for the surface treatments necessary subsequently.

In general, the additive manufacturing process through Binder Jetting has three advantageous applications:

  • Anticipation of pre-series, waiting for the mold to be made for subsequent switch to the MIM
  • Small/medium batches of items that do not justify a MIM mold
  • Production of large batches of articles that otherwise would not be pro producible for geometrical reasons