Desktop Metal 3D Printing Service
The Studio System is a three-step solution that automates metal 3D Printing. Integrated through Desktop Metal’s cloud-based software, it delivers a seamless workflow for printing complex parts in-house from a digital file to sintered part.
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Bound Metal Deposition:
The Studio System™ is a three-step solution that automates metal 3D printing. Integrated through Desktop Metal’s cloud-based software, it delivers a seamless workflow for printing complex parts in-house—from a digital file to a sintered part.
The Studio System printer uses a process called Bound Metal Deposition™, or BMD™. BMD is similar to one of the most widely-used 3D printing technologies, Fused Filament Fabrication, FFF. Instead of a filament, the Studio System uses bound metal rods—metal powder held together by a wax and a polymer binder. The rods are fed through a heated extruder onto the build plate. The printer shapes the part layer by layer, line by line — producing a printed part, or ”green part.”
The green part is then placed into the debinder where it is immersed in proprietary debind fluid, dissolving the primary binder and creating an open-pore channel structure to prepare the part for sintering. Once the debind cycle is complete the part is referred to as a “brown” part.
The brown part is placed into the furnace where it is heated to temperatures near melting—removing the remaining binder and causing the metal particles to fuse together as the part is sintered. This step necessitates design considerations unique to Bound Metal Deposition because sintering has implications for part features, build orientation, and support structures.
CAD Modeling Guidelines
Debind time is impacted by the wall thickness of the part. The cross-section reveals the wall lines (the compound path created by the two perimeter circles) and the lines of triangular closed-cell infill. Debind fluid flows freely between the voids created by the infill but dissolves slowly through the solid material of the wall lines and each line of infill. Increasing wall line count leads to an increase in the length of the debind cycle.
The interface layer plays a very important role in the BMD part fabrication process. During the furnace cycle, the interface layer becomes a powder that physically keeps the part from sintering to the support structures. This is what enables Separable Supports™ and the significant benefit of allowing users to remove support structures by hand. However, for some geometries, the fact that support structures are not strongly attached to parts during the sintering process may mean that parts can shift or separate from supports during the sintering process.
The way you choose to orient your part during printing has implications for surface quality, and print time. Consider the following when optimizing print results.
- Minimize support volume
- Avoid high centers of gravity
- Avoid critical surfaces in contact with supports
See design guidelines for more design and printing tips.
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