3D Printing Technology: Binder Jetting – BJ
Binder Jetting 3D printing technology essentially combines the techniques of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Material Jetting (MJ). It uses a binder to bind the material together and can be used in many applications. It is also able to create full-colour prototypes.
How Does Binder Jetting work?
The printing begins when the first layer of powder is deposited onto the build platform. A print head will then sweep through the build platform area selectively depositing the binder. After which the build platform would move down and the cycle repeats.
The binder acts as a sort of glue. When the binder comes into contact with the powder it fuses them together and creates a solid.
What Material Does Binder Jetting Use?
The 2 main materials that Binder Jetting 3D printers use are:
For a more in-depth look at the type of materials, click here.
A Cool Process
Most 3D Printing Technologies uses some form of heat in the process, which ultimately leads to geometrical distortions such as warping. However, Binder Jetting has a cool process that completely avoids this problem.
Large Build Volume & Complex Shaped Parts With Full-Colour
Binder Jetting 3D Printers have a relatively large build area which allows for large parts to be made while allowing for complex geometries as the powder itself acts as a support material that can be removed during post-processing. For sand-like materials, full-colour models can be created.
The powder is generally cheaper as compared to other powdered materials, not to mention that the unfused powder is 100% recyclable which reduces waste which in turn, reduces cost.
Poor Mechanical Properties
The biggest disadvantage is that the mechanical properties of the parts created are weak due to the high porosity. This means that the parts printed are only to be used as a visual prototype. If functionality is required, other post-processing methods must be introduced in order to improve its mechanical properties.
As the parts are highly brittle, certain details are not easily printed and may be damaged during the post-processing stage.
Limited Material Selection
Compared to other 3D Printing Technologies, Binder Jetting’s material is limited to mainly sand and metal.
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