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Metal 3D Printing (Bound Metal Deposition) Design Guide

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 digital file to sintered part.

To leverage the advantages of additive manufacturing, it is important to optimize your design for the Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) process—printing, debinding, and sintering.

The objective of this white paper is to provide you with a design guide for creating CAD parts that are optimized for metal 3D printing. The guide includes:

  • Maximum and minimum part size, wall thickness, hole sizes, pin sizes, clearances, and part features
  • The types of parts that are ideal for metal 3D printing
  • Considerations and printing best practices
    • Printing with Infill
    • Optimizing for Printing, Debinding, and Sintering
    • Printing features such as threads, fillets and holes

 

About the BMD Process

Metal 3D printing with Desktop Metal Studio System is a three step process:

Printing

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 filament, the Studio System uses bound metal rods—metal powder held together by a wax and 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.”

Debinding

The green part is then placed into the debinder where it is immersed in proprietary debind fluid, dissolving 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.

Sintering

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.

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