After we had already announced in a BLOG post in November 2020 that we would soon be getting a new furnace for sintering metals, the time finally came last week. We unpacked the furnace, put it into operation and are currently working on the first sintering programs for our 3D-printed metal parts.
By finally being able to sinter with forming gas, we expect a significant improvement in the quality of our 3D-printed metal parts. Especially to remove residual binders, hydrogen in the sintering atmosphere helps a lot. Our work on binder jetting of stainless steel will benefit very significantly from this new capability.
We will first use the option to sinter under vacuum in a customer project where we are additively manufacturing copper components. We are using material extrusion for this, as we expect this process to have significant advantages for density sintering.