The Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing (LMM) - process
LMM is an innovative, indirect, additive manufacturing process. The process is based on the principle of photopolymerisation.
The material is a combination of metal powder and photosensitive polymer binder. Through mask exposure with UV radiation, the polymer is locally structured and thus binds the metal powder.
The gradual lowering of the building platform layer by layer results in a three-dimensional green part.
The polymer binder supplies the green part with sufficient strength for subsequent demoulding and preparation for the sintering process.
In the first step of the two-stage sintering process, the polymer binder is thermally removed. In the second step, the metal powder is densely sintered into a pore-free metallic component.
The finished part has mechanical properties comparable to those of standard materials.
Characteristics of the LMM process
With a layer thickness of 40 µm, a minimum wall thicknesses of up to 0.1 mm and even micro “drill” holes with a diameter of up to 100 µm can be produced. Undercuts and cross holes are possible, too. A maximum building space of 75 x 43 x 100 mm is currently available for this purpose.
The possibility of printing different or identical components in the entire building space arranged within one print-job makes LMM a highly efficient process.
The LMM process does not require any supporting structures, which is why it is particularly suitable for the production of small and very small components with a component weight of < 30 g. This means that no time-consuming reworking is required after the component has been demoulded.
In terms of precision and surface quality, the LMM process sets new standards for the additive manufacturing of metallic components.