The Virtual Foundry set out to make metal 3D printing realistic for everyone with an FDM printer. The dream comes true with Filamet, their line of sinterable FDM metal filaments.
Open: The Virtual Foundry prides itself on developing these filaments within an open architecture model. Filamet delivers in printers from the most humble home versions to the most robust industrial types. If it prints PLA, it prints Filamet. In fact, no special adjustments or equipment are necessary. These 85+% metal filaments print just like PLA with settings recognized by the beginning and experienced user alike.
The Virtual Foundry President, Tricia Suess, appreciates the team’s approach. “It’s quite thrilling to be on the front edge of metal 3D printing technology. Brad and his team have developed something here that changes how work is done. Our innovative people have created a product within an open architecture that increases the efficiencies of current work systems as well as expanding the value of our customers’ product offerings.”
Safe: Filamet is made of metal powder encased in a binder of environmentally friendly, biodegradable and carbon neutral polymers. That means safer operation and no exposed powdered metals.
While prints made with Filamet can be polished to a beautiful shine in their green state, many applications dictate post-processing. Filamet again surpasses other metal AM solutions by debinding with simple heat – no chemicals, no safety risk.
Object Created Using Debind Safety Risk
Injection Molding Nitric Acid High
Closed AM System Proprietary Solvent High but Contained
Filamet and any FDM printer Heat None
The sintering process for parts printed with Filamet works just as it does in current industry. Support the print in a suitable refractory and fire away.
Brad Woods, the inventor of Filamet, knows that industry is poised to take advantage of cost-effective, safe solutions to metal products. “This point in history sets the stage for the future of metal 3D printing, and the technologies developed by The Virtual Foundry are becoming the standards.”
Priced to Compete: Create high quality, high purity, 100% metal objects for far less than current metal printing systems and other methods of metal AM. Since Filamet can be used in any FDM printer, all printer brands are options. Since objects printed with Filamet can be sintered in any kiln that meets the requirements, kiln sourcing can be price-based.
With a kilogram of Filamet priced at $225 or less, the investment is low and the value is unlimited.
Filamet turns any FDM 3D printer into a metal printer. No special hardware is needed.
- Stainless Steel 316L Filamet $225 per kilogram
- Any FDM 3D Printer $200 – $10,000 and up
- Industrial Kiln $5000 and up
The mechanical properties of an object printed and fired with Filamet are similar to results achieved with metal injection molding and direct metal laser sintering.
The Virtual Foundry guarantees metal printing success with its open, safe, and economical metal 3D printing filaments.
[Time Lapse by Austin Triggs]
Benn Simms of Ledwell Plastics writes, “After finding an article on The Virtual Foundry’s Filamet I immediately saw the potential for this exciting product and wanted to be involved. After contacting Tricia and Brad I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with them and explore the possibilities for this product in the injection moulding industry….Injection mould tooling is a very expensive and time consuming process. This has the potential to massively de skill it for minimum outlay and hugely improve production times.”
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