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Production of high-precision metallic components with Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing (LMM)
The additive manufacturing of metals has been experiencing continuous exponential growth for years. A constantly increasing number of additive manufacturing processes leads to increasing confusion from the user's point of view. While in the beginning direct additive processes, in which components are manufactured directly from the material, were very common, in recent years indirect processes, in which components are manufactured in two stages via a green part state, have increasingly come into focus.
A new indirect additive manufacturing technology based on the basic principle of stereolithography enables even better surface qualities and very high resolutions. This is the so-called Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing (LMM). This novel lithography-based technology for the manufacture of metallic components is a combination and further development of the processes of Vat polymerisation (VP) and metal injection moulding (MIM).
The starting material is a mixture of metal powder and a photopolymer (= feedstock) applied in thin layers (typically between 35 and 50 µm) on the building platform. This is then exposed locally with UV light. In the exposed areas, the photopolymer crosslinks and thus keeps the metal powder in shape. In this way, green parts are produced in layers.
The thermal debinding of the photopolymer and the sintering of the components to a final density of between 96 and 99% are carried out in a two-stage process in a MIM sintering furnace under a protective atmosphere. The sintered parts are about 20% smaller than the printed green parts. The exact sinter shrinkage factor depends on the material composition used. The factor itself is very well reproducible, whereby the shrinkage is similar in all three dimensions.
--- Date: 01.04.2020 Time: 14:30 - 15:00 Location: Exhibition forum hall 10