With origins dating back to the mid-1990s, binder jet is one of the oldest forms of 3D printing. It’s able to produce a variety of custom-shaped and custom-sized objects by “printing” them. From small toys to complex manufacturing components, binder 3D printing supports a myriad of objects. So, what is binder jet 3D printing exactly?
Overview of Binder Jet 3D Printing?
Also known as drop-on powder 3D printing, binder jet is a form of 3D printing that involves the use of an inkjet-powered printer that deposits a binding agent onto powder.
Like most other forms of 3D printing, binder jet builds objects layer by layer. It’s called “binder jet,” though, because it uses a binding agent. While other forms of 3D printing typically deposit material, binder jet deposits an adhesive agent. During this 3D printing process, an inkjet printer moves across a bed of powder where it deposits adhesive. The adhesive binds with the powder, thereby solidifying.
Advantages of Binder Jet 3D Printing
Since it uses an adhesive agent, there’s no risk of the printed object suffering heat-related damage. The adhesive agent and the powder are kept at room temperature throughout the entire process. As a result, binder jet is a safe form of 3D printing that doesn’t expose the printed object to heat-related damage.
The printers used for binder jet 3D printer are also relatively inexpensive. There are commercial- and hobby-grade binder jet 3D printers available. While the former costs more than the latter, they are still less expensive than other types of 3D printers. Furthermore, any unused powder can typically be saved for future use, which is another way that companies can save money by choosing binder jet 3D printing.
Disadvantages of Binder Jet 3D Printing
Unfortunately, binder jet 3D printing is particularly effective at creating strong objects. When the adhesive agent binds to the powder, it solidifies. The solidified powder, however, is weaker than the material used in other forms of 3D printing.
Strength isn’t a concern for all 3D printing applications. Hobbyists, for example, can probably use binder jet 3D printing just fine without experiencing any negative effects due to its low strength. Manufacturing companies, on the other hand, may need to a different 3D printing solution for various objects, such as machining components.
Binder jet is a form of 3D printing that uses an inkjet printer to build objects by depositing an adhesive agent onto a bed of powder. It’s safe and expensive, but it produces objects with poor strength.
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