How Digital Metal works

The Digital Metal process begins with an object described in a CAD file. This is materialised in our 3D printer, which builds the object layer by layer, using metal powder and high-precision binder jetting. Once complete, the object is sintered for strength.

Step by step

Step 1: 3D CAD file

The STL file is sliced into 42 µm thick 2D layers, then saved in a new file that the Digital Metal printer can read.

Step 2: Digital Metal printing

Parts are built layer by layer, by applying binder on each metal powder layer. Printing takes place at room temperature in a build box that does not require any protective atmosphere. No supports are needed, since no melting takes place during printing. The surrounding powder provides enough support, which facilitates removal of powder during cleaning and reduces the need for post treatment.

Step 3: Cleaning

The 3D printed components are cleaned out of the powder bed. All loose powder is removed and re-used.

Step 4: Sintering

The printed components are sintered to gain density and correct material properties following existing standards. Printing and heat treatment are separate processes, allowing for a wide selection of materials. Each process step can be optimised for each material.