- Detroit-based TriTech is an experienced manufacturer of titanium parts for the commercial and industrial markets, including aerospace, marine, and automotive
- Ti64 is a popular material because of its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility
- Binder jetting of Ti64 simplifies production of complex titanium parts, which can be challenging and expensive to fabricate using traditional manufacturing methods
Desktop Metal, Inc. (NYSE: DM), a global leader in additive manufacturing technologies for mass production, in collaboration with Detroit-based TriTech Titanium Parts LLC, today announced that Ti64 has been customer-qualified for binder jet 3D printing on the Production System™.
The Production System platform features high-speed Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology on two models: the P-1, for research and development of binder jetting projects for serial production, and the P-50, the world’s fastest metal binder jet system, offering the lowest cost per part, with SPJ technology.
TriTech Titanium Parts LLC, which is ISO 9001:2015 certified, uses metal injection molding (MIM), investment casting, and now, binder jet 3D printing on the Desktop Metal Production System P-1 to produce titanium parts. The company is a spin-off of AmeriTi Manufacturing Co., which was founded in 1984 and sold last year to Kymera International.
“With binder jet 3D printing, titanium production of even the most complex geometries can be greatly simplified and achieved at a lower cost,” said Robert Swenson, owner of TriTech and also the former owner of AmeriTi. Swenson is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering and an MBA from Harvard Business School. “Our team is incredibly proud to be the first Desktop Metal Production System P-1 customer worldwide to binder jet 3D print titanium, and we’re excited to offer this new manufacturing technology to our customers.”
“Desktop Metal is proud to work with TriTech, an experienced titanium parts maker, to bring this new solution to binder jetting,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “With this latest addition to our material portfolio, we now offer the ability to binder jet 23 metals. We’re excited to help engineers and manufacturers produce complex, once-impossible designs in a wide range of metals, including challenging materials such as copper, aluminum, and now, titanium.”
TriTech will discuss its experience binder jetting Ti64 at AMUG 2023, held March 19-23 in Chicago. The topic will be part of a Desktop Metal panel discussion from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the Joliet Room at the Hilton Chicago. A video featuring TriTech’s experience with binder jetting is now available at learn.desktopmetal.com/ti64.
Production System users interested in working with titanium should consult their Desktop Metal sales representative on hardware and binder requirements.
The Benefits of Binder Jetting Ti64
While Ti64 is a popular material, it’s also known for being expensive to manufacture. The material’s strength, as well as its low thermal conductivity and ductility, make it challenging to machine or produce with traditional manufacturing methods. For example, Ti64’s strength requires more force to cut and remove material. In turn, the material has a tendency to work-harden during machining, which can lead to tool wear and breakage. To mitigate this, special tools, coolants, and process approaches are needed during machining.
Additionally, shaping the material with MIM requires special knowledge and processes. TriTech is among a very small percentage of companies who produce titanium parts with MIM, and the company has developed its own MIM processes after years of R&D.
With binder jetting, however, the process can be simplified and made more economical. An industrial printhead selectively deposits a binder into a bed of Ti64 powder particles creating a solid part one thin layer at a time, just like printing on sheets of paper. The form or shape produced by the printer is then sintered to high density and accuracy in a furnace, similar to the MIM process. Additionally, binder jetting allows unbound material to be reused in the process, adding to its cost efficiency.
Our Material Qualification Process
Because Desktop Metal binder jet technology can 3D print almost any powder, the company has a tiered material qualification system for metals to signify the varying levels of material property results produced by our technology:
- DM Qualified: Printing and sintering profiles developed by DM, with fully characterized material and mechanical properties. Meets MPIF or other similar standards, where available.
- Customer-Qualified: These materials have been qualified by our customers with their own standards and are being successfully printed for their own applications.
- R&D Materials: Initial testing completed by DM demonstrating binder and process compatibility. Printing and sintering profiles are under final development.
About Desktop Metal
Desktop Metal (NYSE:DM) is driving Additive Manufacturing 2.0, a new era of on-demand, digital mass production of industrial, medical, and consumer products. Our innovative 3D printers, materials, and software deliver the speed, cost, and part quality required for this transformation. We’re the original inventors and world leaders of the 3D printing methods we believe will empower this shift, binder jetting and digital light processing. Today, our systems print metal, polymer, sand and other ceramics, as well as foam and recycled wood. Manufacturers use our technology worldwide to save time and money, reduce waste, increase flexibility, and produce designs that solve the world’s toughest problems and enable once-impossible innovations.
About TriTech Titanium Parts
Detroit-based TriTech Titanium Parts LLC specializes in manufacturing precision net shape titanium parts for small-batch and large-volume production orders, as well as prototypes, for industrial, aerospace, automotive and other markets. It offers three unique manufacturing processes under one roof – 3D binder jet printing, metal injection molding and investment casting. TriTech collaborates with customers to match the best manufacturing process to their specific part. With a fully domestic supply chain, TriTech delivers custom-made net shape titanium parts on-time and on-budget.