Fraunhofer IFAM develops Fused Filament Fabrication metal 3D printing method

The process allows free formed metal parts to be produced from a variety of materials with low investment costs compared to powder bed machines.

0 October 30, 2017
Staff

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden has developed a new process which uses Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF 0r F3) to 3D print metal parts.

Faunhofer IFAM 3D print FFF

3D printed stainless steel fan produced using FFF on €300 Renkforce RF100 printer. Photo courtesy of Fraunhofer IFAM.

The process allows free formed metal parts to be produced from a variety of materials  with low investment costs compared to powder bed machines.

Fused Filament Fabrication is not a new process. However, the new method is unique in the fact that it additively manufactures metal parts — whereas common FFF methods print polymer parts.

The IFAM process uses plastic filaments filled with metal powders up to 55 per cent volume loading. These filaments are printed in a standard F3 printer, debinded and sintered to near dense structures. The possible metals include steels, copper, tungsten, titanium, precious metals and ceramics.

This simple process produces metal parts with >97 per cent density with highly complex designs and material options.

Currently, the process has primarily focused on 3D printing using 316L stainless steel.

www.ifam.fraunhofer.de


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