The Studio Printer is getting closer to release and we’ve been getting a lot of questions on how it operates and compares to other metal printers currently on the market. Here’s a little bit of a deeper dive into the Studio Printer.
The Studio will print material using a method called Bound Metal Deposition (BMD). The concept is very similar to Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) in that we are extruding material through a heated tip and drawing out each layer. The difference is that with BMD, we are extruding a rod of powdered metal that has been bound together using a resin binder. In essence, we are melting the resin binder and shaping it to our desired form, and the powdered metal is just along for the ride.
Next, in order to achieve a pure metal piece, we run the part through a debinder station, which uses a solvent to wash away the primary binder. Then, when we place the debound part into the sintering station, we burn out the secondary binder, and densify the metal powder to our near net shape part. The full process is shown below:
This process differs from other commercially available metal printers on the market in that it is able to leverage widely known and accepted technology from the Metal Injection Molding (MIM) industry. Desktop Metal uses currently available MIM powder in their feedstock, meaning the material costs compared to a tradition powder bed fuse metal printer are greatly reduced (up to 75%).
Desktop Metal is committed to making metal 3D printing more accessible and the Studio Printer is a great first step.
For more information on Desktop Metal and the Studio Printer, contact your local sales rep or click here.
Owen Lu | Application Enginer