PRINTING METALS IN ULTRA PRECISION

 
 

  
 

The Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing (LMM) - Technology

The Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing Technology (LMM) is an indirect, additive manufacturing process for high-precision metal components. Both the overall process chain and the resulting material properties are comparable to metal injection moulding (MIM) parts.

The process takes place in two stages.

Illustration: The Process-steps LMM-Technology
Illustration: The Process-steps LMM-Technology

The Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing (LMM) - Technology

In the first process stage, a high-precision green part is produced, based on the principle of photopolymerization.
The material, the so-called feedstock, is a combination of metal powder and photosensitive polymer binder. Through mask exposure, which enables precise and fast exposure of an entire layer surface, the polymer binder is locally cross-linked and metal powder is bound in this way.

Illustration: procedural principle
Illustration: procedural principle
Illustration: Exposure of a level
Illustration: Exposure of a level

The step-by-step lowering of the building platform leads layer by layer to a three-dimensional green part.

green part (li.), finish part (re.)
green part (li.), finish part (re.)

In the second process stage, the sintering process, the green part is transferred to its final state.
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.