3D Printing & Powdered Metal

3D printing is a progressive manufacturing method growing quickly in popularity, especially in the ‘micro manufacturing’ industry. While 3D printing greatly expands the range of producible products, in some applications the mechanical strength of 3D printed objects is not sufficient. It is widely understood that mechanical strength is directly related to the porosity of the 3D printed metal. As well, the porosity is directly influenced by the raw materials used in its manufacturing, such as powdered metals.

By using electroformed sieves particles can be filtered to your specific desired size for an even distribution. It has been proven that an optimized arrangement of fractions with large and small particles can provide 3D printed products with enhanced mechanical strength due to a higher packing density. An increase of mechanical strength can possibly expand the application area of 3D printed metal products into industries not currently served.

One historical way of separating powders into range sizes are with woven wire sieves. Traditional wire woven sieves are available at pre-selected opening sizes and carry a tolerance at up to +/-20% of the opening. More accurately, electroformed sieves are available at the single micron increment starting at 3 microns, allowing you to further customize your powdered materials. They are built atom by atom, resulting a singular piece or non-woven material. Due to the media being non-woven, electroformed sieves also experience significantly less clogging and particle entrapment.

Benefits

  • Ultimate Accuracy – Filter by specific particle size with narrow tolerances as low as one or two microns.
  • Wider Range of Separation – Electroformed sieves are available at every micron size between 2 and 2,000 allowing a wider, more accurate separation.
  • Reduced Powder Distribution – Electroformed sieves ensure that your powder is consistent in size right down to the micron level allowing your powdered metal to compact even tighter.
  • Increase Strength – Uniformed micron sizes increase strength in your products density. Tightly packed powders lead to denser, stronger end products.
  • Reduced Particle Entrapment – non woven sieving media results in decreased clogging, easier cleaning.