Hong Kong-based GC Advanced Material Solutions (GCAMS) is continually adding new powders compatible with their Medpimould and AmbientPrint feedstock technology, for all kinds of materials. The company recently qualified selected silica and mullite powders, exclusively supplied by Nimra Cerglass Technics Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, India.
The powder solids loading obtained with these powders turns out consistently to be at 60+ vol% for the wax-base and at 53-55 vol% for the solvent-base feedstocks, which means a relatively low shrinkage on sintering.
Material extrusion (MEX) 3D printing technology typically uses a continuous powder-loaded filament of a feedstock, adapted to be compatible with the FFF-type printers. However, especially for ceramics, the powder loading of these filaments is invariably low, leading to issues when consolidating the parts into a final sintered product.
In the new generation of MEX-based technologies, the feedstock can be printed by direct nozzle extrusion (BMPD = Bound Material Powder Deposition). Two simultaneous benefits are achieved: dramatically lower cost and substantially higher powder loading of the feedstock.
According to GC Advanced Material Solutions‘ CEO, Dr. Robert Pompe, these new [silica and mullite powders] qualifications open up new real-world commercial opportunities also for companies in the ceramic production field for serial additively manufactured products. “ Our low-cost licenses, a kind of detailed ‘cooking books’—said Dr. Pompe—make it now possible for many companies to turn the benefits of AM into successful industrial products. This is also a good example of how companies like Nimra can use their own powders and convert them into printable feedstocks”.
These licenses are specifically designed for and sold with the 3D printers manufactured by Metallic3D, Inc. of Stuart, Fla, USA. Complete packages are marketed by 3D Dragon Printing Technology Co., Ltd., Hong Kong, in southeast Asia, China and other dedicated markets.