Effect of powder characteristics, processing parameters and sintering kinetics on densification and resulting properties of binder jet 3D printed biomaterials

Principal investigator: Anthony Rollett, Amir Mostafaei

University: Carnegie Mellon University

Industry partners: The ExOne Company

In additive manufacturing based on powders, both feedstock and 3D printing process significantly affect the final cost of the component. Production of irregularly shaped powder via Hydride-Dehydride (HDH) or water atomization is cheaper and faster than gas atomized powder with spherical morphology. Spherical particles are assumed to give better powder flowability and higher packing density resulting in higher densification and mechanical strength. Counterintuitively, we will show that angular powder can be a good candidate for binder jetting of biomedical structures where porosity promotes tissue growth. Among additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, binder-jetting is promising because of it is: fast and low-cost; produces stress-free structures with complex internal/external geometries. The properties of the final parts are also isotropic. Three companies including ExOne and Ametek Powders will partner with CMU to evaluate part production from biocompatible materials using binder jetting technology thereby bolstering an important component of the southwest PA economy and supporting the strong existing tissue engineering activity. This project utilizes effective collaboration between CMU, and ExOne Company and Ametek Powders to enable the use of biomaterials in binder jetting. Along with these three industrial partners, biomedical manufacturing companies and tissue engineering researchers can take advantage of the proposed processing and manufacturing method.