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