Xerion Berlin Laboratories GmbH, Berlin, Germany, has launched a new ultra-compact Fusion Factory debinding and sintering unit with external dimensions of 1,200 x 1,000 x 2,000 mm.
In contrast to its first Fusion Factory system, released 2018, which combines a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) system for metal and ceramic parts with a debinding and sintering system in one modular unit, this compact system does not include the FFF system, but enables the post-processing of FFF parts within twenty-four hours.
The main advantages of the FFF process include freedom from the tooling costs associated with MIM and CIM, cost-effectiveness when compared to other metal AM processes, short production times and more. However, one factor that has held back the industrial use of the process is that individual pieces of equipment for debinding and sintering had to be purchased from different manufacturers.
With Xerion’s ultra-compact Fusion Factory debinding unit and the sintering furnace, both systems are available from the same manufacturer and take up limited space in the production environment. In accordance with the BASF CATAMOLD® principle, debinding is carried out by catalytic means, while the sintering furnace can reach temperatures of up to 1,450°C under protective gas conditions. Sintering under a 100% hydrogen atmosphere is also possible.
A number of research institutes are now said to be using the Fusion Factory to develop their own filaments and sintering strategies for FFF. To enable this research, the system supports an open architecture.