Prodways and the CEA-LITEN technological institute in France have seen first successful production of titanium parts using a new 3D printing process which uses metal powder combined with organic binders.

Accofrding to the company, if it were to be ramped up to series production scale, this new technology could offer substantial advantages compared to the highest performance methods currently in use because it is five times faster than direct metal 3D printing and has the ability to work with all types of metals (including titanium, Inconel, cobalt-chrome, etc.). it also resolves problems related to health, safety and the environment because the process does not produce fine particles. It also reduces overall operation time and requires less energy, as the energy normally used to fuse metal is provided by an oven and not a laser.

Prodways obtained the first conclusive results in refining the process by using MOVINGLight technology for indirect fabrication of metal parts. These technologies, such as the lost wax casting process, can make tools, master patterns, or molds that make it possible to fabricate high performance metal parts, the company says. In particular, this technology can create master pattern geometries that are more complex. Prodways says that it is also developing new resins that can improve this technology for casting metal parts. This indirect process, which is often used in the aeronautic and automotive industries, is currently being tested at several leading companies in these sectors. 

This story is reprinted from material from Prodwayswith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.