Binder jet metal 3D printing is a game-changer for industries like aerospace and automotive that are looking for a different approach to manufacturing high throughput parts and custom parts. With recent advancements in binder jet printing now combining with advancements in software, AI, and machine learning, engineers are able to reshape the way they use additive manufacturing in their work. From developing end use parts, to developing customized pieces or repair parts that are typically warehoused physically, metal jet binder printing will play a huge role in the transformation of the world’s factory floors.
Some industry analysts predict that binder jetting might be the future of mass production when printing in metal. However, these projections depend on the speed at which industrial manufacturers find ways to introduce binder jet metal printing into established processes.
Despite the considerations and unknowns of adopting an emerging fabrication technology on a manufacturing floor, there are major advantages to implementing metal binder jetting technology. The printing process is extremely fast – fabricating many parts simultaneously and with high accuracy and precision. The layer-by-layer printing process allows for a high degree of control over the final object’s shape and size.
Binder jetting also allows for the printing of parts with intricate internal structures and complex geometries, which are difficult to produce using traditional manufacturing methods. This makes it an ideal technology for producing complex, high-performance parts for aerospace, defense, automotive and medical applications.
Improved binders and better control over the printing process is allowing binder jet metal 3D printing to produce parts with very high accuracy and surface finish. Binder jet metal 3D printers are now able to print parts that are much larger than before as well, making it possible to produce entire assemblies.
Supercharging the advancements of the materials and technology of the printers is software. With the ability to control fleets with one platform, parts go from CAD to printing effortlessly. What’s more, software advances are allowing the supply chain to be less exposed by enabling manufacturers to warehouse parts digitally rather than physically. If a part is needed, it can be sent to a local printer rather than machined and shipped across the country or across the globe – downtime that cuts into factory lines’ profits.
In 2023 and beyond, we can expect to see even more advancements which will result in increased usage of binder jet metal printing amongst manufacturers. One area that is likely to see significant improvement is in the speed of the printing process. As the technology continues to evolve, binder jet metal 3D printers will be able to produce parts faster and at a lower cost, making them even more competitive with traditional high volume manufacturing methods.
Whole industries like automotive, defense and aerospace are already rethinking how they make parts, from high throughput production parts to highly customized parts. These early-adopting engineers are coming up with new ways to intertwine binder jet metal printing into their existing process, unlocking efficiencies that will pay for the investment in these metal printers multiple times over, and ensure their factory floor is resilient for decades to come.
Digital Metal is participating at Additive Manufacturing Strategies, taking place in New York City from February 7-9, 2023. Christian Lönne, CEO of Digital Metal, will be taking part in Session 1, Panel 2: The Future of Binder Jetting on February 7. Register for your ticket to attend here.
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