Fraunhofer IFAM develops Fused Filament Fabrication material for metal part production

October 18, 2017

Fraunhofer IFAM develops Fused Filament Fabrication material for metal part production

A stainless steel impeller produced using FFF on a €300 Renkforce RF100 AM system (Courtesy Fraunhofer IFAM)


Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), Dresden, Germany, has introduced a process which uses Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) to additively manufacture metal parts. The process is said to allow free formed metal part production from a wide variety of materials with low investment costs.

While FFF is an established process, it has previously been used primarily for the manufacture of polymer parts. The IFAM method uses a plastic filament containing metal powders at up to 55% volume loading. The process involves manufacturing the part using a commercially available standard FFF printer, followed by debinding and sintering to result in a metal part.


Fraunhofer IFAM develops Fused Filament Fabrication material for metal part production

316L stainless steel demonstrator part made by FFF (Courtesy Fraunhofer IFAM)


So far, the process has mainly been used to produce components in 316L stainless steel, but is reportedly suitable for all sinterable metals, including copper, tungsten, titanium and precious metals, as well as ceramics. It is said to also be possible to produce multi-material parts.

The process is reportedly undergoing development for commercialisation, with the aim of producing cost-effective components to industrial standards. According to Fraunhofer, FFF AM machines cost only a fraction of the price of powder bed AM machines and allow for the production of free-formed metal parts with >97% density. In addition, FFF uses MIM-cut metal powders, which are typically cheaper than powders for powder bed Additive Manufacturing.

Fraunhofer IFAM – FFF

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 184-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Cheaper powders, faster build speeds and no thermal stresses? How AM is going supersonic at SPEE3D
  • Current perspectives on metal AM: Hype, volume manufacturing and the geographies of production
  • AM Ventures: An insider’s perspective on venture capital for start-ups in Additive Manufacturing
  • Binder Jetting and beyond: Optimising the use of metal powders for Additive Manufacturing
  • From lightweighting and material efficiency to energy consumption: Where are we on AM’s sustainability journey?
  • AM’s industrial impact celebrated as Sweden hosts ASMET’s fourth Metal Additive Manufacturing Conference
  • Euro PM2019: Effects of humidity and storage conditions on Additive Manufacturing powder quality
  • > More information

Latest news


    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:
    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news
    All past issues are available to download in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter

    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap