Depowdering is one of the hot topics in binder jet printing at the moment. Depowdering is the stage in the binder jet process where loose powder is removed.
The Desktop Metal Shop System has a three step process:
- Print: parts are printed in alternate layers of metal powder and binder to create a “green “part.
- Depowder: loose powder is removed
- Sinter: the part is heat treated in a furnace to achieve final properties.
Binder jet printing is a very flexible system, allowing an array of different parts in one build. This provides a significant benefit in terms of flexibility and cost, however, this has to be weighed against the time and skill involved in depowdering parts.
The Desktop Metal system uses a handheld air pick to blow away powder, making it easier for the operator to extract the green part. The strength of the green part is also good, ensuring successful prints on parts with finer geometry and complex shapes.
The video below shows the depowdering process.