Processes

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Skip support structures when 3D printing parts with binder jetting

Just like powder bed fusion, binder jetting is a set of additive manufacturing processes. In binder jetting, a binder is deposited onto a powder bed, bonding areas together to form a solid part, one layer at a time. Metals, sand and ceramics in granular form are the most commonly used materials in binder jetting.

In the binder jetting process, a recoating blade spreads a thin layer of powder over the build platform. A carriage with inkjet nozzles passes over the powder bed, selectively depositing droplets of a binding agent that bond the powder particles together. When one layer is complete, the build platform moves downwards, and the blade recoats the surface of the part. The process is then repeated until the whole part is complete. After printing, the part is encapsulated in the powder. It is left to cure and gain strength. The part is removed from the powder bed and any loose powder is cleaned off.

The parts are in a “green” state when they are taken out of the binder jetting printer. Therefore, parts made with the binder jetting technique is sintered as a post-processing step to gain strength.

Binder jetting is suitable for making low-cost 3D printed metal parts, full-colour prototypes and large sand-casting cores and moulds.  

Höganäs currently invests in new production capabilities of metal powders targeting binder jetting.

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