Material extrusion of metal
Why yet another 3D printing process?
Laser-based processes are very well established for 3D printing of metal parts. However, the machines are very expensive, the choice of raw materials is limited, and in many cases the properties of the printed parts do not meet the user’s requirements.
Material extrusion (MEX) is the most cost-effective of all 3D printing processes. At WZR, we are specialized in paste processing, a process that occurs at room temperature. We use commercially available metal powders, mix them with our water-based binder system, and subsequently produce initial test bodies with small amounts of powder. The particle size is variable within wide limits, and we are also very flexible with the type of particles. 3D-printed components are sintered without debinding, i.e. less than 2 days elapse from the start of 3D printing to the completion of the thermal process.
Our business field
Our business field is material development for 3D printing processes.
Our business field is material development for 3D printing processes. We can carry out the first steps of a development with as little as 200 g of metal powder. This allows us to make statements about feasibility, distinguish promising paths from unsuccessful paths, and test initial material properties.
We can process metals in 3D printing that were previously impossible to process with other 3D printing methods.
WZR develops pastes with a wide range of metals. We optimize the 3D printing parameters and produce test specimens, which we sinter and examine. Our strength is our experience in 3D printing, our well-equipped analysis laboratory and our targeted development.
Specimen as a green body, after debinding and after sintering.
Mixing ceramics with metals in a paste can lead to novel properties
Contemporary requirements need contemporary solutions: When a single material is not enough, multi-material 3D printing is the way to go.
Mixing ceramics with metals in a paste can lead to novel properties: Adding aluminum oxide to aluminum yields higher wear resistance. By co-extruding two different pastes, it is possible to produce hybrid parts either from two different metals or from metal and ceramic. In this way, two properties, such as electrical insulation and electrical conductivity, can be combined in one component. No other 3D printing process is so versatile. This is just the beginning, the possibilities are endless.
These advantages, coupled with the geometric freedom of additive manufacturing processes, makes it possible to produce unprecedented components that point the way to a new generation of manufacturing and design.
3D extrusion of metal powders