The three-dimensional screen printing process allows the economic production of components that are not realizable at all or only at very high costs compared to conventional methods. For example, 3D screen printing enables closed channels and undercuts with structural finenesses down to 60 µm. Thanks to the powder metallurgical approach, components can be manufactured near-net-shape from a wide range of industrially relevant materials.
The services of Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden initially include the analysis of your specific catalogue of requirements. Based on this, we develop possible manufacturing variants with you, which we then implement together in prototype components. The Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden and its network partners have access to the entire chain from the simulative design of thermal, mechanical and material parameters, through process development and characterization, to support in the subsequent commercial implementation.
The 3D Screen Printing Process
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 three-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 three-dimensional structures with horizontal apertures or closed channels.