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Sandvik and Desktop Metal jointly meet customer challenges with expertise, binder jetting and Osprey® C18150

When an innovative automotive company wanted to explore what additive manufacturing could do for a specific application, they turned to Desktop Metal’s team of 3D printing experts headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, U.S. Kyle Myers, Director of R&D, took the call and started exploring different alternatives right away.

He can’t reveal the exact application as it’s still confidential, but he explains that it has to do with heat transmission, requiring mechanical strength and fast heat dissipation while maintaining the best possible electrical and thermal conductivity. Numerous other industries, such as aerospace and electronics, have similar requirements, so Myers saw a great potential in trying to solve the customer challenge, but needed the right material for the job. Desktop Metal turned to the metal powder experts at Sandvik, who recommended the copper-based alloy Osprey® C18150 powder (CuCrZr).

“Pure copper is the best metal for conductivity and it also dissipates heat efficiently, but it lacks the required strength,” Myers said. “So we found the idea of an enhanced copper powder very attractive. The additional chromium and zirconium would likely do the job, so we decided to test it on the specific application.”

Freedom of design and consistency from batch to batch

The alloy was developed as fine powder for Metal Injection Molding (MIM) and Binder Jetting (BJ) using Osprey® High Yield Technology but is also offered as coarser powder for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) and Direct Energy Deposition (DED), allowing for a high freedom of design in several manufacturing technologies and component sizes.

Predictability has been truly critical, so a key advantage has been the consistency from batch to batch.

Over the past two years, Myers and his team, with support from Sandvik, have been working together with the customer to test and verify the process and material. It’s now internally qualified at the customer’s facility and ready for scale-up.

 Osprey® C18150 in glass jar against a black background.

“Predictability has been truly critical, so a key advantage has been the consistency from batch to batch,” Myers explains. “In the work ahead, we are an extension of the customer’s engineering team.”

Key technology in the transition to a more sustainable world

Myers describes his company, Desktop Metal, as a team of experts on the frontline of additive manufacturing innovation, working dedicatedly to find the right material and right processes for each individual customer. The company strongly believes that binder jet additive manufacturing is a key technology in the transition to a more sustainable world, which goes hand in hand with what Sandvik wants to achieve. Hence, there are several good reasons why the two companies work so well together.

When developing together, having the right partner on your project is everything.

“I’ve been working with Sandvik for many years. They have the same mindset as we do, always looking for innovative ways of solving customer challenges, yet with a solid foundation of experience and expertise. When developing together, having the right partner on your project is everything,“ Myers said. “And this collaboration really highlights the importance of that.”

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