Sept. 5, 2019
Metal 3D printing has not only increased in popularity over the years; it's also become more attainable for the common consumer as new game-changing products enter the market. Materials like BASF's Ultrafuse 316L Filament make metal additive manufacturing through desktop 3D printers an accessible reality. Starting right from the home, any advanced user or professional can produce metal parts on a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer that comprises of the necessary components to extrude abrasive materials at high temperatures. BCN3D Sigmax R19, Ultimaker S5, and Pulse are just a few of many 3D printers capable of this, right out of the box.
While metal digital fabrication can start from the home, there are a few proceeding steps that may require external services. After a part has been 3D printed with metal filament, it is referred to as a "green part" in this state until it enters the next two fundamental steps—debinding and sintering. Debinding is the process of removing plastic material from green parts to produce what is called a brown part. Sintering is the process of turning the leftover powdered metal in the brown part into solid metal through heat. For a deep dive into the entire 3D metal printing process and why these two steps are crucial to producing metal parts, check out our article "How to Succeed with 3D Printing Metal on a Desktop 3D Printer."
Debinding and sintering are not common practices as they require a great deal of money for industrial level machines. Because it is extremely pricey for someone to jump into debinding and sintering, we have found that it would be more affordable to outsource these tasks to a company that specializes in these steps. Where can you find a reliable debinding and sintering company? How do you prepare your parts for these processes? What can you do to make sure this outsourcing goes smoothly? Read our detailed guide below for step-by-step instructions on how to successfully prepare your green parts for outsourcing debinding and sintering services.
We strongly recommend following these parameters as they boost your chances of successfully transforming your green parts into solid steel during the debinding and sintering process.
Take some time to clean up any blemishes your green parts may have accrued during printing. This goes a long way to ensure your parts succeed during the debinding and sintering process. For more tips on successfully printing and post-processing your metal 3D printed green parts, check out our article here.
Instead of spending hours researching reliable debinding and sintering companies and negotiating quotes, this MatterHackers BASF Ultrafuse 316L Processing Ticket expedites that process with a manufacturer and price ready to go at checkout. Buy a ticket. Receive a code. Print out the form in Step 4 with the code to ship with your parts.
Filling out this form minimizes miscommunication between you and DSH while also maximizing success for this debinding and sintering process.
Green parts, while not extremely delicate, are also not impervious to bumpy shipping deliveries like any other package. In order to increase the chances of your green parts arriving intact upon arrival, we strongly recommend taking extra care to package your parts.
That's it! Preparing and shipping your green parts for processing is complete on your end. If your parts arrive at DSH on the same week they are performing a run, then your parts will be processed the Tuesday they are performing a run, debound and sintered on Wednesday, and shipped out no later than Thursday afternoon. Depending on what return shipping service you chose at checkout for your processing ticket, your parts may arrive the next day on the Friday or return anywhere between 2 - 5 business days depending on where your return address is located in proximity to DSH.
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