Binder Jetting Processes

Binder jetting is an additive manufacturing method that uses a binder material to selectively bond powder particles together layer by layer to create 3D objects. This process is distinct from other 3D printing methods that involve melting or fusing material. In binder jetting, a thin layer of powdered material (often metal, ceramic, or sand) is spread evenly onto a build platform. This platform is typically a powder bed that can be lowered incrementally after each layer is deposited. The thickness of each layer can vary but is typically in the range of 20 to 100 microns.

After spreading a new layer of powder, an inkjet print head is used to selectively deposit a liquid binding agent onto the powder surface. This binder is often a liquid polymer or adhesive, and it is deposited according to the cross-sectional pattern of the 3D object being printed. The binder acts as a glue, bonding the powder particles together in the desired shape.

Once the binder is applied to a layer, the build platform is lowered by one layer thickness, and a new layer of powder is spread on top. The inkjet printing process repeats, applying the binder in the shape of the next cross-section of the object. This layer-by-layer building continues until the entire object is completed.

After the printing process is complete, the printed object is typically removed from the remaining loose powder, which can be reused for future prints. Depending on the material and application, additional post-processing steps such as curing, sintering, or infiltrating may be required to strengthen the final part.