Desktop Metal & Uniformity Labs Develop Aluminum for 3D Printing
Leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions Desktop Metal Inc and leading additive manufacturing company that is revolutionizing industrial 3D printing materials and processes Uniformity Labs announced a breakthrough powder that enables aluminum sintering for binder jetting AM technology. This new powder is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the companies to develop a low-cost, raw material yielding fully dense, sinterable 6061 aluminum with greater than ten percent elongation and improved yield strength and ultimate tensile strength versus wrought 6061 aluminum with comparable heat treatment.
This new powder enables the sintering of unadulterated 6061 aluminum and represents a significant improvement over prior techniques used to sinter aluminum, which required coating powder particles, mixing sintering aids into powder, using binders containing expensive nanoparticles, or adding metals such as lead, tin and magnesium. Critically, the powder also enables compatibility with water-based binders and has a higher minimum ignition energy relative to other commercially available 6061 aluminum powders, resulting in an improved safety profile. Desktop Metal and Uniformity Labs plan to continue to work together over the coming year to qualify the powder and scale production for commercial release. Once fully qualified, Uniformity 6061 aluminum will be available for use with the Desktop Metal Production System™ platform, which is the only metal binder jetting solution with an inert, chemically inactive processing environment across the printer and auxiliary powder processing equipment, enabling customers to achieve consistent, high-quality material properties across volumes of end-use parts with reactive materials, such as aluminum.
Fully dense, sinterable 6061 aluminum with better than wrought strength will be available for binder jetting technology, marking a significant step forward for the Additive Manufacturing industry as it is one of the most sought-after materials for use in automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics.