The easy way from powder injection moulding (PIM1) to 3D printing.
3d-figo GmbH has developed a machine, model FFD150H, as well as a suitable print head for the FFD process2. This process enables the additive generation of components from MIM3 and CIM4 feedstock. The process is based on the FDM process5. However, no filament is used, but a granulate, the so-called feedstock.
The FFD150H is the first industrial 3D printer to process original injection molded granulate.
This means that the system can directly process metallic and ceramic injection molding granules. It is also possible to manufacture plastic parts.
The advantage of this process is that by using commercial feedstock, an optimally prepared material is processed that has been used for years in the production of metal and ceramic components.
First, a so-called green body is added to the FFD150H’s printing bed. In a second step, this green body is debindered in order to be sintered into a solid metallic or ceramic component in the third step.
PIM procedure1: Powder Injection Moulding. Powder injection moulding is a primary moulding process for the production of metallic components of complex geometry and has its origin in the injection moulding technology of plastics.
FFD process2: Fused feedstock deposition process. In this process, a metal or ceramic feedstock is melted in an extruder and then selectively applied to a building platform. The process is based on the FDM process. However, no filament is used, but a granulate, the so-called feedstock. A large number of commercially available injection moulding feedstocks can be processed.
FDM process3: Melt layering is a manufacturing process from the field of rapid prototyping, with which a workpiece is built up layer by layer from a meltable plastic or from molten metal. Machines for the FDM belong to the machine class of 3D printers.
MIM4: Metal Injection Moulding and CIM5: Ceramic Injection Moulding