The Virtual Foundry Invented Bound Metal 3D Printing Filament with a unique process/material called Filamet™
The Virtual Foundry’s Filamet™ process lets Anyone create Pure Metal Parts using Standard Desktop 3D Printers, making 3D Metal Printing Simple, Accessible and Affordable!
Here’s How it Works:
- Filament Production: The Virtual Foundry creates a special type of metal filament by mixing a binder with metal powder. This mixture is extruded into a spool of filament that can be used in any standard 3D printer.
- Print: The filament is then loaded into a 3D printer and used exactly like any other PLA in common FFF 3D printers. However, instead of printing with pure plastic, the printer lays down layers of metal-infused binder. The binder acts as a temporary support structure and holds the metal particles in place.
- Debind: After printing, the part is placed in a kiln like those found in schools and heat-treatment facilities and countless other environments, this removes the binder leaving behind a porous metal structure.
- Sinter: The print is then raised to a higher temperature, causing the metal particles to fuse together and form a solid metal part. This phase of the process densifies the metal, resulting in a final part that is dense and strong
YES!, you can 3d print pure metal parts with common printers from companies like Prusa, Ultimaker, Lulzbot, Creality, gCreate, etc.!
If your printer can print PLA filament, it can also print Pure Metal with Filamet™.
PRINT > DEBIND > SINTER
The only fully hands-on, open architecture Metal 3D Printing Technology.
Published Research Papers as of March 2023
As of early 2023, the number of academic papers referencing The Virtual Foundry by name exceeds 150. The number of Dissertations, thesis, capstone, and general research is accelerating at an unprecedented pace. This outlet is now the fastest growing and most thorough source of process and procedural information for printing and processing The Virtual Foundry’s rapidly growing list of printable materials. These are no longer limited to Metal, but have grown to include hard materials from many areas of the Periodic Table.
The list is growing quickly. Clicking this link will take you to a fresh search of https://scholar.google.com for papers relating to The Virtual Foundry. If you have research you would like to add, we encourage you to reach out.
A few Examples:
- “Additive Manufacturing of Copper-Based Metal Matrix Composites using Fused Filament Fabrication: Effect of Firing Temperature on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties” by Bhaskar Dhiman and others. This paper discusses the use of Bound Metal Filament to create copper-based metal matrix composites using FFF 3D printing and analyzes the effect of firing temperature on the resulting microstructure and mechanical properties of the parts.
- “Metal 3D Printing: Bound Metal Deposition Process and Performance Evaluation” by Hangjian Zhou and others. This paper describes the development of a Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) process, which is a modification of FFF 3D printing that uses Bound Metal Filament to create metal parts. The authors evaluate the performance of the BMD process and compare it to traditional metal 3D printing methods.
- “Processing and Characterization of Stainless Steel 316L Parts Fabricated by Fused Filament Fabrication” by Ying Liu and others. This paper describes the use of Bound Metal Filament to create stainless steel 316L parts using FFF 3D printing and analyzes the resulting microstructure and mechanical properties of the parts.
See how Filamet™ Compares to other FFF Metal Technologies
We can make Filamet™ out of any material you can dream up.
The Virtual Foundry has provided this service to organizations like National Labs, NASA and a variety of public and private research organizations. We’ve made Filamet™ with everything from high-tech Thermoelectric materials like doped Molybdenum Telluride and custom 3d printable piezoelectric materials, etc. All the way to the other end of the spectrum with simplistic materials like foundry sand for 3d printable casting cores and components.
Learn about Custom Filamet™ Projects
The Advantages of Printing with Filamet™ 3D Printing Filaments
✔ Low barrier to entry
✔ Familiar processes
✔ Minimal energy consumption
✔ Mature technology (FFF)
✔ Low hardware costs
✔ Hardware flexibility – capability to customize printer
✔ Safer solution – no chemicals in printing, no chemicals in debinding
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We make every material 3D printable. Contact our sales team to learn more. Some limitations may apply.