IIT Mandi (Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi) researchers have been researching the best metal 3D printing process and have recently revealed that a new powder-based metal extrusion 3D printing stands out as the most superior and cost-effective method in comparison to other approaches in metal 3D printing.
According to officials, this new metal 3D printing technology constructs robust and intricate metal components using fine metal powders.
“This layer-by-layer manufacturing process offers flexibility in designing complex structures, finding applications in diverse industries such as aerospace, automotive, spare parts, heat sinks, biomedical devices, and construction materials.”– Naveen Kumar Bankapalli, Research Scholar, IIT Mandi
Powder-based Metal Extrusion 3D Printing Technology
This new metal 3D printing technology is now known as mFFF/FDMet, after the popular extrusion-based polymer technologies. Dr. Prateek Saxena led the study, and his team outlined the benefits of mFFF/FDMet in a paper published in the journal Composites Part B.
While Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) and Direct Energy Deposition (DED) are the most popular metal additive manufacturing technologies, Bankapalli explained that the extrusion-based method is more cost-effective, less hazardous, and provides more design freedom.
Bankapalli added, “It is particularly noteworthy for aerospace applications due to its lightweight nature, the extrusion-based process outshines current metal additive manufacturing alternatives.”
The team also stated that mFFF/FDMet is a five-step process that includes filament fabrication, 3D printing, debinding, sintering, and post-processing. And, despite being a longer process, it is more cost effective for mass-producing metal parts than traditional methods.
“Currently, only foreign companies dominate this entire process, creating a monopoly. Our aim is to empower potential producers with a thorough understanding of the process, enabling independent development of the technology.”– Prateek Saxena, Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, IIT-Mandi
This new analysis will enable individuals, industries, or researchers to develop and implement this technology on their own, allowing for cost-effective mass production of metal parts.
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