Products manufactured using 3D Metal Moulding
CMG Technologies, the UK’s leading Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) specialist, has successfully trademarked ‘CMG Technologies 3D Metal Moulding’ as part of the company’s plans to raise awareness of the scope of opportunities offered by MIM.
Whilst 3D metal printing technologies are developing at an extraordinary rate, it is still predominantly used for prototype production and CMG Technologies’ Senior Engineers believe MIM could play a vital role for companies looking to take 3D metal printed prototypes to the mass market.
CMG’s Technical Sales and Marketing Director, Rachel Garrett, explained: “Rather than being seen as a competitor to 3D metal printing, MIM can actually provide the stepping stone needed between prototype and volume production. Once the initial tooling is complete we are able to deliver huge volumes of parts in a far wider variety of materials than is currently possible with 3D printing.”
CMG Technologies has the capability to manufacture a component with complex geometries and dimensions of just 1.85mm x 1.60mm x 0.835mm with a 100µm hole and a small groove on one of the faces - at significantly lower costs than using traditional manufacturing methods.
CMG facilitates the entire 3D moulding process in-house leading and uses metal powders which can be bought ‘off the shelf’ or mixed in house by CMG’s experienced metallurgist. A custom made tool is then fitted into a standard moulding machine and the feedstock is injection moulded into it to produce a net shaped 'Green' component. The moulded 'Green' component is then transferred to the debind ovens to remove the binder. The 'Brown' component then reaches the final stage of the process where it is sintered in a controlled atmosphere and any secondary processes can then take place.
Rachel added: “3D metal moulding is most effective for small, complex components in annual volumes of 1000 or more, although if the part is particularly complex and expensive the 3D moulding process could still be cost effective for volumes of 500 or more. And because we mix our own feedstock, we have the in-house metallurgy capabilities to produce parts from a wide range of materials including titanium and precious metals. This makes our capabilities particularly attractive for manufacturing parts used in the aerospace and medical devices sectors.”