3D Metal Printing
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM
3D Screen Printing of Metals
A printable suspension of metal powder and a binder is pressed in a screen printing process through a computer generated mask, followed by a hardening step. In the next step a layer-on-layer printing is repeated until a 3-dimensional part is manufactured. A first heat treatment is applied to remove the organic binder; subsequently the remaining metal powder is sintered to structures with high precision and good mechanical stability. The residual minimal wall thickness and channel width amounts about 100 µm. In contrast, the maximal structure height may add up to a couple of centimeters. Hence, exceedingly high aspect ratios are feasible. The method enables the production of 3-dimensional structures with horizontal apertures or closed channels.