Exclusive Interview: EASYMFG Chairman Cai Daosheng’s Insights on the Future of Metal Binder Jetting Technology – Part One


In the continually evolving realm of 3D printing, Metal Binder Jetting (MBJ) is making a mark as an innovative technology. Despite obstacles such as intricate supply chains and skeptics among users, 2023 saw leading businesses in the 3C industry- Computer, Communication, and Consumer Electronics, including Huawei and Apple employing MBJ 3D printing technology.

In the following interview, Cai DaoSheng, the leader of a binder jet specialist and Chairman of EASYMFG, gives an assessment of MBJ technology and its application in large-scale production.

Cai DaoSheng, Chairman of EASYMFG. Photo via EASYMFG.

“Our potential apprehension is that if a single leading enterprise is tasked with matching and servicing the core users, this may result in a general disappointment among them in the MBJ industry. Thus, it is imperative for all teams involved in MBJ to strengthen their partnerships, hasten their R&D testing, and discard the idea of merely capitalizing on the MBJ hype,” conveyed Cai DaoSheng.

Daosheng’s vision for MBJ integration and growth

DaoSheng believes, that as MBJ stands on the brink of wider adoption, the technology faces a critical juncture. Demonstrating its capabilities in large-scale manufacturing is crucial to instilling confidence among industrial users. He explained that 2024 is pivotal for MBJ, emphasizing the need to establish trust and seamless integration across the industrial chain, from material suppliers to end-users which will help enhance production efficiency and competitiveness.

“We sincerely hope that HP can rapidly promote applications in the domestic market and that Desktop Metal and Markforged can develop smoothly. We also hope that GE and Ricoh can bring their products to market quickly, collectively driving the flourishing development of the MBJ market,” added DaoSheng.

EASYMFG’s smartwatch casings 3D printed in 316L stainless steel using its binder jetting technology. Photo via EASYMFG.

Despite the large community surrounding Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology, the group focused on MBJ technology research is substantially smaller. DaoSheng believes that cohesive cooperation and swift R&D are crucial for minimizing this disparity and establishing continual growth of MBJ.

EASYMFG, under DaoSheng’s guidance, plans to spearhead and supervise the evolution of MBJ technology. The firm vows to enhance human and financial resources, encourage innovation in R&D, and broaden the use of MBJ in pivotal sectors such as the 3C industry, powder metallurgy, hydraulic valves, and aerospace.

The Innovation of EASYMFG: M400Pro and onward

DaoSheng, the Chairman, stated that the launch of the M400Pro 3D printer in August 2023 symbolizes EASYMFG’s dedication to overcome obstacles in MBJ technology. He emphasized that this 3D printer integrates even top-feed powder spreading systems and high-speed data processing algorithms.

In the initial part of 2023, I made the decision to cease all sales and deliveries of the previously created MBJ devices from external sources. Instead, we transitioned to wide-format printheads and modules, centering on the manufacturing of MBJ devices for highly accurate printing purposes. In August 2023, the M400Pro, revealed at Formnext in Shenzhen, was the inaugural MBJ device truly suited for production, born from this new focus,” claimed DaoSheng. 

EASYMFG, tailored for efficient printing of large sizes, also introduced their Max-level device, which features a build chamber volume that is double the size of the M400Pro. Concurrently, the Inno series, made specifically for research and testing, offers a platform for a streamlined process of replacing materials and testing newly developed materials and products.

DaoSheng disclosed that plans for the first half of 2024 consist of releasing two metal printers, one small-sized printer for research and material testing, and a larger printer for bulk production. Premiering at the Powder Metallurgy Exhibition in Shanghai in March 2024, the small-sized 3D printer was designed to uphold a level of accuracy similar to the production-level M400Pro, at a much more affordable cost.

The large-format equipment is primarily designed for mass production and large-sized components. By increasing the forming space, we make sure there isn’t a simultaneous increase in printing time. Notably, the single-layer full-width printing time is roughly 10 seconds, symbolizing an improvement in forming efficiency.

Some of the advanced characteristics of this system comprise a low-dust powder feeding mechanism, powder spreading rollers’ automatic cleaning feature, fully automatic feeding resulting in minimal powder loss, and broad-format single-pass printing. It also boasts of high-speed, high-precision data processing, thereby improving overall efficiency.

As part of our sustained commitment to delivering the best, we postponed the product delivery initially scheduled for October to the end of 2023. We utilized this time to upgrade the printhead, powder roller wiping objects, plus the printhead wiping and cleaning tools. Eventually, the initial batch of M400Pro printers was delivered on the final working day of 2023, affirmed DaoSheng.

Lattice structure printed by M400Pro. Photo courtesy of EASYMFG.

The future of Metal Binder Jetting

DaoSheng emphasized that Metal Binder Jetting (MBJ) facilitates simple printing of sizable parts, particularly within the sand casting market. But specific measures are required to decreasing deformation and unbalanced heating during high-temperature sintering for sizable parts, leading to a significant increase in sintering furnace expenses. Even with these challenges, Daosheng anticipates a positive future for MBJ. He emphasized the importance of thorough design planning for MBJ equipment and encouraged the industry to reassess the build box’s size.

According to DaoSheng, when developing MBJ equipment, the build box’s length should not be more than 600mm, and the height should not overstep 200mm. With this design specification, it ensures the printing process of a 30μm layer thickness will not surpass 24 hours, making it an ideal MBJ design.”

EASYMFG headquarters. Photo via EASYMFG.

Original source


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