3D Printing 2.0: BJ Binder Jet Metal Forming

March 29, 2023

3D printing technology has been developed for more than thirty years, its industrial application of the global compound annual growth rate of more than 20%, China and even higher. However,because of its relatively small output base, despite the significance of the 3D printing industry is still a small industry. 3D printing industrialization is slow for two main reasons: first is the printing efficiency is low, that is the manufacturing speed is slow; second is the printing material is expensive, which is the manufacturing cost is high. A slow and expensive technology, it is difficult to be applied to the production line, which is why the main users of 3D printing equipment are mostly research institutes, large companies, research and development departments, schools and 3D printing services.

In order to solve the problem of traditional 3D printing is both slow and expensive, 3D printing 2.0 Binder Jetting / 3DP (hereinafter referred to as BJ) process came into being. Compared with 3D printing 1.0, such as PBF, DED and other metal additive manufacturing process is using “point scanning” technology, there are low processing efficiency, several times the cost of traditional manufacturing technology. It is difficult to achieve large-scale industrial applications. However, using the “line scan” technology of 3D printing 2.0 Binder Jetting, is a high-efficiency, high-precision additive manufacturing technology. It follows the traditional powder metallurgy industry material system and sintering process, low cost, high degree of material standardization, not only provide high-efficiency, high-quality, low-cost metal additive manufacturing solutions for industrial sessions, but also can be applied to the production line, for the large-scale application of 3D printing technology has laid a solid foundation. It is expected that 3D printing 2.0 will bring breakthrough sustained growth for the 3D printing industry.

Based on the three-in-one collaborative innovation system of National Research Institute of Science and Technology, post-doctoral workstation and product development team, and the foundation of nearly 30 years of development of additive manufacturing equipment, Longyuan AFS has mastered key technologies related to equipment, materials and processes of binder injection molding technology, and completed the development of series of equipment such as R series for R&D and P series for production. As well as the development of systematic material processes for iron-based materials, non-ferrous metals, high-temperature alloys, refractory metals, ceramic materials, inorganic salts, polymer materials and food materials.

Longyuan AFS R series equipment AFS-J120R and AFS-J380R are R&D type equipment for universities, research institutes and enterprise R&D institutions. This series of equipment can achieve the highest ±0.2mm printing accuracy, 400~800DPI resolution, 2.5L/h printing speed and 55~62% green blank density. The equipment is easy and fast to operate, with flexible replacement of powder material and binder ink, concise structure and easy maintenance, effectively guaranteeing the efficiency of scientific research and repeatability of experiments. With self-developed industrial control software and data processing software, the process parameters are highly open and independently adjustable, which is not only compatible with a wide range of materials, but also suitable for exploratory research and rapid preparation iteration of new materials.

Illustration:Longyuan AFS BJ Binder Jet Metal Printing Equipment AFS-J120R (left), AFS-J380R (right)

P series equipment is a production type equipment for MIM, mold and tool industries. This series of equipment adopts the latest up-feeding single-cylinder structure, equipped with V+ precise powder dropping system, double-roller composite high-density powder spreading system, nozzle automatic cleaning, built-in air purification system and other devices, easy and fast operation, flexible replacement of powder materials and binder ink, effectively guaranteeing production efficiency. It can achieve ±0.15mm printing accuracy, 400~1200DPI resolution (freely adjustable), maximum 2.5L/h printing speed and 55~62% density of green blank. High-end production equipment AFS-J380L is also equipped with high-precision molding cylinder transfer car, which can realize the rapid transfer and rapid replacement of molding cylinders, saving curing waiting time; the highest printing accuracy can reach ±0.1mm, the highest printing speed can reach 3.6L/h, the relevant technical indicators reach the international advanced level.

Illustration:Longyuan AFS’s BJ binder jet metal printing device AFS-J380P (left) and AFS-J380L (right)

In addition, Longyuan AFS has the ability of independent design of binder formulations, which can meet the development needs of customers for customized binders for new materials and new applications. Based on the equipment, a series of BJ special binder formulations have been successfully developed for more than 20 kinds of substrate materials such as iron-based alloys, light metal alloys, organic glass and ceramics. Among them, the degreasing and sintering process for a variety of materials such as SS316L, SS420 and 18Ni300 meet the international material standards of MIM industry. In addition, the company has set up a professional technical service center in China, which can respond to the customer’s needs quickly and on a full-time basis, providing a solid guarantee for the stable operation of the equipment.

BJ Binder Jet Metal Printing Case from Longyuan AFS

BJ metal technology is known as “Additive 2.0” technology because of its high printing efficiency, low material cost, cost-effective equipment, no additional support, suitable for batching, etc. It will form large-scale industrial applications in the automotive, hardware, electronics, tools, molds, cutting tools, medical devices, sports equipment and other industries. It has a broad market space, and the future market scale is more than 100 billion RMB. At the same time, as a direct metal forming technology, the development and application of BJ metal technology is gradually growing into a core technology trend in the field of metal additive manufacturing, showing a strong vitality in the production of batch metal parts. It is believed that the technology will profoundly affect the traditional manufacturing industry, and will change the market pattern of metal additive manufacturing industry in the future.

AFS 3D Printers


About AFS

Beijing Longyuan AFS Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Beijing 3D Printing Technology, Inc. In 1994, it successfully developed China’s first independent intellectual property rights commercial-grade SLS 3D printing equipment. The company focuses on 3D printing equipment and rapid manufacturing services, with nearly 30 years of experience in 3D printing services. Through a collaborative innovation system of research institutes, postdoctoral workstations, and engineering technology centers, it provides solid technical support. Through a series of intelligent equipment, such as SLS selective laser sintering, SLM selective laser melting, 3DP sand mold printing, BJ metal/ceramic printing, DED directed energy deposition, etc., independently developed, it provides users with complex sand mold, sand core, wax mold printing, sand mold printing rapid casting, wax mold printing precision casting, metal finished product rapid manufacturing and other services. More than a thousand equipment and processing service users are distributed in fields such as aviation, automobile, rail transportation, ship pumps and valves, engineering machinery, sculpture, and others.

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Longyuan AFS Co., Ltd. is a leading provider of 3D printing equipment and manufacturing services in China, providing high-quality R&D pilot production and rapid manufacturing services for small-lot, multi-species and complex structure metal products based on the integrated technology of "3D printing, casting, machining and inspection".

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