A group of engineers in Massachusetts called the Sinterhard led by Bill Kovacs have developed a new series of filaments – The Sinterhard Metal Filled Filaments.
Upon the completion of the crowdfunding campaign of this project, Sinterhard will begin to manufacture ABS and PLA plastic filaments mixed with 316 stainless steel and aluminum powders that could easily be used by the 3d printers currently in the market.
The metal powders aluminum and stainless steel selected by Sinterhard are the most common metals used in the current Metal Injection Molding process in which finely-powdered metal is mixed with a measured amount of binder material to form a material capable of being handled by plastic processing equipment.
The products 3d printed using the Sinterhard metal filled filaments will instantly be ready to debind and sintered into solid metal objects.
According to the Sinterhard team, “These metals cover a large range in commercial applications and are available in the fine mesh size we need to insure a high quality 3D Printed part.”
The team has selected PLA or Polylactic Acid and ABS or Acrylontrile Butadiene Styrene as their thermoplastic resin (a polymer compound that becomes soft or fluid when heated and then returns to its original solid state when cooled) as these are “the most commonly used 3d printer filaments used today.”
The Sinterhard Metal Filled Filaments could and will be used in prototyping and creating fully sintered metal objects as it is more affordable, faster and accurate.