3D Printing Printing metal with BASF Ultrafuse 316L

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AllDigital

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Has anyone tried printing metal with the BASF Ultrafuse 316L filament? The early reviews look impressive for something we could now do at home (with mail order sintering).

I am curious to see how it would hold up to printing nozzles and just how big those nozzles could get and still be reliable. The data sheet on the material says it has a tensile strength of 561 MPa. This would still be more expensive than machining, but it would allow for some really exotic designs.
 

jpatton

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They are on my list of things to try but I haven't gotten there yet. Id love to hear from someone who has as well. Virtual foundry has a series of these filaments as well. One thing I'm curious about is if their shrinkage is consistent enough during debinding and sintering to come close to the actual tolerances you are trying to obtain.
 

AllDigital

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One thing I'm curious about is if their shrinkage is consistent enough during debinding and sintering to come close to the actual tolerances you are trying to obtain.
Agree. I think it will be hard to get designs that have mm tolerances when the x-y shrinks 16% and the Z shrinks 20% during D&S. Also, the D&S process gets expensive if doing a lot of smaller prints over a longer period of time or doing a lot of iteration (to get the sizing right).

That said, it is exciting that this technology is coming down in price and accessibility. It won't be long before it is refined with more D&S providers and lower cost printer, filament, and services.
 

cwbullet

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I have a 3 KG spool but have not used it yet. The seller recommended that I dehydrate it and use a glass bed with dimifix. I am not quite ready to try it out.
 

dvdsnyd

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465 bucks for 3kg of filament, plus another fee to go through the debinding and sintering process? Yikes!
Little too far out of reach for me at the moment.
Would be interested to hear what others have for results though. Definitely interesting.
Dave
 

cwbullet

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465 bucks for 3kg of filament, plus another fee to go through the debinding and sintering process? Yikes!
Little too far out of reach for me at the moment.
Would be interested to hear what others have for results though. Definitely interesting.
Dave
I did nto pay that much. This was an open spool that the guy failed to get to print.
 

KC3KNM

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A friend at work just sent me this. They give some good sintering instructions (https://www.thevirtualfoundry.com/help). I think with a cheap programmable furnace it's totally reasonable to control the whole process yourself.
 

AllDigital

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KC3KNM

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Yep, we are getting close, but I don’t think I’d debind and sinter at home yet. The Ultrafuse 316L guide has a good overview of the debind and sinter processes. It involves gaseous nitric acid and other nasty biproducts.


It looks like they've got a workable debinding process using AI₂O₃ for copper/bronze and Sapphire3D Steel Blend for stainless and Inconel. They pack the top of the crucible with carbon after debinding for sintering (stainless and Inconel are packed with carbon before debinding). No gasses needed for these materials, the carbon is there to burn and use up the oxygen in the furnace (@~14:00 in the linked video). A benefit to the refractory is that you get some support for the part, but it does seem like it could be a little messy and time consuming. Though, as mentioned in the video, they're experimenting with argon and some other gasses for the rest of their materials.

This is obviously very much a work in progress, but they've gotten some good results and have the process down to something that isn't unrealistic to do in your garage. To be fair, if you're not looking to experiment a little, it might not be the best choice.
 
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