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What is Binder Jetting?

What is Binder Jetting?
May 18, 2023
Sustainment Team

The answer to “What is binder jetting?” is the same as that to “What is binder jetting 3D printing?” Binder jetting, also known as binder jet 3D printing, is an additive manufacturing process, one of many in that family.

More specifically, it uses powder materials such as ceramics, composites, metals, and sand along with a liquid binding agent to create a precision part’s geometry.

Fast production times and low operating costs per part produced make binder jetting attractive for a variety of applications and industries. Because the process does not require a laser or extremely high temperatures as many other additive manufacturing types do, binder jetting uses less energy and can be performed at room temperatures, enhancing its usefulness and appeal.

How Does Binder Jetting Work?

So how does binder jetting work? Let’s break it into 5 steps with a concise description of each:

  1. On the build platform, a recoating blade spreads a fine layer of powdered material.
  2. A carriage of inkjet nozzles selectively releases droplets of binding material. This bonds the powered particles to one another.
  3. A new layer of powder coats the surface, followed by another application of binding agent. Steps 2 and 3 are repeated as many times as needed until the part is complete.
  4. Now the part has to be allowed to cure and strengthen. Once that occurs, any excess powder is removed with pressurized air.
  5. Post-processing steps may take place, with the steps depending on the materials used. For example, metal parts may need heat treating because their materials can leave the printer with poor mechanical properties and in a brittle, highly porous state.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Binder Jetting?

As discussed previously, binder jetting has a major advantage in that it can be performed at room temperature. In addition to using less energy (and lowering costs), this means that part distortion from high heat is not an issue.

Because binder jetting can use multiple print nozzles, the process can create several parts at once in a faster and more cost-efficient manner that many other additive manufacturing processes can. It also requires no support structures and produces parts with low surface roughness. The latter is especially beneficial when parts have internal features that can be difficult to treat with post-processing techniques.

Binder jetting isn’t the right choice for every manufacturing need, of course. Accuracy and tolerance are the main problems because shrinking, warping, deforming, and softening can occur during post-processing. Internal porosity can also result in poor mechanical properties and a risk of crack initiation.

What Is Binder Jetting Used For?

Another common question about this process is “What is binder jetting used for?” Binder jetting is good for producing full-color prototypes, low-cost metal parts, and large sand casting molds and cores. In terms of particular industries that use binder jetting, here are some examples:

  • Jewelry production
  • Armed forces (producing replacement parts for soldiers in the field)
  • Film industry accessories
  • Dental and medical devices
  • Aerospace components

How Can I Find Binder Jetting Services Near Me?

Once “What is binder jetting?” is no longer a main question, it might be time to wonder about how to go about finding binder jetting services for parts production. Sustainment can make the process of finding a reliable binder jetting company near you easy.

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