What is Powder-Based 3D Printing? 2020 Guide

Powder-Based 3D Printing

3D printers have gradually begun to enter the world of mass awareness. Besides being extremely flexible the system has been increasingly available even for leisure usage. When folks say about 3D printers they sometimes invoke up the idea of the molten and extrusion plastic filaments.

Yet filament-based printing is not the only process for 3D printing. Powder-based 3D printing includes plastic filaments by a number of decades and appears to be a popular technology for several industry professionals. What is printing centered on sand, and how precisely will it operate? What are the various forms of 3D printing, dependent on powder?

For more details on powder-based 3d printer cost, click here.

What Is Powder-Based 3D Printing

Powder-based 3D printing is a type of material processing using raw resources in powder form. That’s in comparison to the filament products used for other, more traditional methods in 3D printing. In this situation the powder content may be either metal or plastic.

The basic theory of powder-based 3D printing for bone tissue is to facilitate the “joining” of the specific metal powder through the regulated energy release. The source of energy may be either a photon, a small UV light ray, or an electron beam. The basic process used for 3D printing, hardware specifications and the composition of the powder particles all play a significant role in deciding the completed print features.

The powder-based 3D printing is identical in all the other ways to many other 3D printing techniques. The system also begins with a 3D model of the desired configuration, which slicer technology must then handle. This program creates very small pieces of the design that will complement the textures the gypsum powder-based 3D printer will create one by one.

The printer adds a fresh layer of available raw powder for each successive layer of the powder raw resources which the gypsum powder-based 3D printer joins together. This process continues before generation of the entire design. Post-printing processing would in some situations be required to obtain the ideal physical and mechanical characteristics of the product.

What is Powder-Based 3D Printing? 2020 Guide

Metal Powder-Based 3D Printing

Metal powder is bonded together during metal-based powder printing by adding a high-energy beam or an element which facilitates bonding. Powder-based 3D printing will handle like almost all industrially relevant metals from stainless steel , aluminum, titanium, copper , cobalt, nickel alloy, and chromium.

However, energy demands and suitable techniques can differ from one material to the next. For this purpose, a metal-based 3D printer that fits well with such a vast suite of forms of powdered metal is uncommon to view. The powder-based 3D printer cost for this type is also very less. There are four main methods used for 3D metal powder print and we’ll address these from the easiest to the most advanced in order.

Selective Laser Melting

SLM is one of the most common metal powder-based 3D printing techniques, using a focused laser beam to heat the bare metal material. This resulted in overall melting of the metal as well as the adjacent dust particles mixing together just to produce dynamic geometric shapes.

The laser strength and the rate at which it travels through the metal powder coating can be tailored to the metal being handled and to change the produced display characteristics. In either scenario, SLM is a very energy-intensive operation, since it allows the metal to be fully melted. The benefit is that SLM creates 3D images of metal with excellent mechanical properties. They combine at the molecular stage, as metal particles melt. This method fits in any holes, producing an extremely dense and solid commodity.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering

DMLS is somewhat close to SLM, so much so that the two concepts tend to be synonymously used. Both require a raw resources from metal powder and a supply of electron beam to achieve fusion. There is, though, a small but important difference: Although SLM ‘s goal is to heat and combine the metal powder entirely, DMLS only aims to heat the metal to the stage that their layers fuse together. This system is termed as sintering which is a much more energy-efficient method to solder powder from metal.

The key effect of preferring sintering over melting is that a substance with a lot of permeability is produced. Because the metal doesn’t completely melt and fill the small holes found in a powder raw material, the final product appears to have a lot of narrow inner cavities. This means that the products made from sintered metal are lighter and therefore not as effective as some of those made from SLM.

Electron Beam Melting

In the EBM process, the energy required to heat the metal powder is provided by an electron beam. It’s a very power-intensive process, too. The feature of an electron beam making it special is that an electron beam can be spread over a thin layer of metal powder to multiple locations. That allows EBM a quicker method of powder-based 3D printing than SLM and DMLS.

EBM 3D printers are far less popular than both SLM or DMLS printers, largely because the hardware is too costly. Even there are very few consumer opportunities for EBM 3D printers. Even EBM printers are unable to reproduce the detail rate of many other 3D printers due to the size of an electron beam.

Multi-Jet Fusion

In MJF, a liquid support material is sprayed onto the metal powder bed at selected locations. This is achieved by a series of hyper-fine tubes, whose quantity directly affects the system’s rpm. This binding agent flows in between the powder particles into interstitial spaces. Its key purpose is to facilitate the absorption of energy from the infrared energy.

The metal print is still known to be in a ‘natural’ condition after the MJF method. This would then have to be handled within a UV chamber to complete the process of healing and sintering, enabling the links to build force.

powder-based 3D printing

Plastic Powder-Based 3D Printing

A powder-based process is probably one of the most flexible compared with other 3D printing techniques for substances. There is indeed a broad array of plastic compounds which can be rendered into powder like silicates or polystyrene, that are usually not found in the type of filaments.

Selective Laser Sintering

The SLS procedure, like the materials DMLS process, utilizes a small CO2 laser as the method for energy distribution to melt the material. By changing the laser’s strength and movement rate, a standard SLS unit can be used for a range of plastics.

In SLS printing, the CO2 laser reaches the powder at specified locations as per the slicer technology produced design. When a coating is removed, a machine moves the surface of the vat to add a new supply of raw plastic material.

SLS has the distinct advantage of offering intrinsic assistance to the finished layers when contrasted with other powder-based 3D printing techniques. As a sheet is printed much of the remaining unrefined plastic powder stays in the create platform which helps to ‘propose’ the printed project functionality. This implies that designs should not be built with support systems, even though they have elongated characteristics.

As its name suggests, the purpose of SLS is merely to sinter, not to melt the plastic absolutely. This greatly accelerates the process but adds a great deal of permeability to the finished paper. The drawback of this aspect is that the procedure ends in printed pieces of portable type. They aren’t the most lasting though. Another big drawback to SLS is that relative to 3D printing methods that use plastic filament or resin, it is far more costly. SLS printers are usually only used in organizations providing specialized powder-based 3D printing facilities, for this purpose.

powder-based 3D printing

Advantages Of Powder-Based 3D Printing

  • Isotropic Mechanical Properties: Products manufactured by powder-based 3D printing are much more isotropic in the properties in comparison with a rapid prototyping process which uses a filament raw resources. That implies its structural features are compatible in all locations. If you need to create a functioning component that is intended for everyday use, a 3D printed part’s isotropic properties mean you could correctly assess how well it will do.
  • Complex Geometries: 3D printing is an increasingly flexible processing technique intended to replicate structures that are too complicated for conventional methods. That is extremely relevant for metals. While technologies such as extrusion casting and centrifugal casting are well evolved and have been shown to manufacture metal parts with enhanced mechanical properties, they have fundamentally restricted production capabilities.
  • Economical for small volumes: Another advantage of 3D printing is that it is not based on an economies of scale. On the per-unit basis, 3D printing a single piece requires about as much as 3D printing hundreds of variations of same model did. This compares with manufacturing approaches that focus on solid cast processing, which is always a massive expenditure that can be supported only by a large amount of orders.

Disadvantages Of Powder-Based 3D Printing

  • Two 3D printing technologies are currently used in handheld models: Fused Deposition Modeling ( FDM), and Stereolithography (SLA). All these innovations create 3D plastic prints that are either produced from filament or resin. With the innovation ‘s characteristic usability behind such approaches, they have achieved a degree of usability that even enthusiasts can aspire to have in their workplaces. Powder-based 3D printing are yet to truly achieve this stage. Or for metal or glass, powder-based 3D printing is mostly often used as a testing technique by a technical company, or as part of a production operation on an industrial scale. They are not especially difficult to use but are costlier than most 3D printing devices many ways.
powder-based 3D printing

Buying Guide

  • Know the thing before printing: Always make sure to have a clear idea about what you are printing. This is one of the biggest considerations of buying a 3D printer.
  • Good features: The printer that you will be buying should have proper features. There must be best as well as safety features available.
  • Proper resolution: The 3D printer that you are buying should have proper resolution. That is very much important for good quality printing.
  • Price: Price is also an important factor. A number of options are available in the market and they all fall within a great affordable range.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is layer thickness 3D printing?

Layer thickness in 3D printing is a calculation of the layer height of each subsequent material addition in the manufacturing process or 3D printing process where sheets are packed in. Selective Laser Sintering is an additive manufacturing technique that creates 3D parts using a powder bed fusion technique.

Is it worth it to buy a 3d printer?

3D printing is great but for all it’s just not worth it. Most individuals waste a lot of money on 3D printers when just exporting a few pieces is really all they can do. Worse still, some people are buying a 3D printer just to figure out they don’t really like using it.

Is SLA faster than FDM?

Generally, people use two processes parallelly but FDM printers can be set to print faster than SLA, however print quality is a determining factor. When people need to do the fast print and also in good quality then every industry uses the FDM process.

How can powder-based 3D printing be used in everyday life?

In everyday life applications of powder-based 3D printing are very important. Powder-based 3D printing is great for household use. They can be used to create brand new objects, like kitchen utensils or coasters. They can also be used to make functional repair items.

What material cannot be 3D printed?

The materials which are in low temperatures such as plastics, metals, and several types of pastes. The 3D printing process is a much-heated process if you use it in plastic, then the material will be destroyed and also can be dangerous.


Powder-based 3D printing is extremely versatile and is extremely easy to use. This printing can be easily done with a huge range of materials. Though not much popular now, powder-based 3D printing will slowly grow in the coming years and will become much popular.

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