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3D Printing Certification

ExOne and College of Pittsburgh develop promising reusable respirators working with 3D printed metal filters


Major sand and steel binder jet 3D printer company ExOne and the College of Pittsburgh are functioning collectively to establish reusable steel filters that in good shape into plastic respirator cartridges.

ExOne’s binder jetting 3D printing certification procedure can be made use of to create steel elements with particular porosity concentrations that can effectively filter out contaminants though permitting airflow. Leveraging its technological innovation, the business was able to establish the reusable and porous metal filters in two metals: copper and 316L stainless steel.  The plastic respirator cartridge was built by the Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science office in Pitt University’s Swanson University of Engineering.

The original tests for airflow and filtration efficiency are at present underway, and the filters are remaining optimized with the aim of adhering to an N95 respirator conventional. ExOne describes that the blended models can probably produce sustainable, sterilizable private defense tools (PPE) for very long-time period use towards contaminants these types of as COVID-19, the disorder dependable for the existing Coronavirus pandemic. 

“Our team has been doing work urgently to expedite this promising and reusable remedy for health-related staff on the frontlines of combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained John Hartner, ExOne CEO. “Our prospects routinely print porous metallic filters for a assortment of applications, and we are self-assured that we’ll have a alternative before long that can empower clinical personnel to sterilize metal filters for repeated reuse, doing away with squander.” 

“Once permitted, we can print these filters in a assortment of measurements for respirators, ventilators, anesthesia masks or other products.”

ExOne and Pitt 3D Print Promising Reusable Respirators with 3D Printed Metal Filters. Photo via ExOne.
ExOne and Pitt 3D Print Promising Reusable Respirators with 3D Printed Steel Filters. Picture through ExOne.

Creating various porosity concentrations for various 3D printed metallic filters

ExOne’s binder jetting engineering performs applying a printhead to selectively deposit liquid binder layer-by-layer on to a thin coating of metallic powder, right up until a closing item is shaped. After this merchandise has been 3D printed from the powdered metal, it is then sintered in a furnace.

Normally, binder jetted metal elements are sintered to whole density. Having said that, ExOne’s engineering makes it possible for for a particular amount of porosity to be established for the item in concern, in this scenario, a metallic filter. The expected degree of porosity for filters however, would vary involving unique steel components. 

As these types of, to check filters in distinctive metals and porosities, a analysis team led by Dr. Markus Chmielus, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Products Science at the Swanson University, is working with CT scanners to evaluate their microstructure and porosity. To support analyze and optimize the efficiency of the filters, added laptop simulation guidance is becoming presented by engineering simulation computer software developer Ansys. 

ExOne has 3D printed metal filters in a variety of metals and porosities for testing. Photo via ExOne.
ExOne has 3D printed metallic filters in a variety of metals and porosities for testing. Picture through ExOne.

“The benefit of binder jet 3D printing certification more than other additive manufacturing certification solutions for this filter software is the potential to make the most of the porosity of the printed part and then wonderful tune it throughout the superior temperature densification or sintering process to attain ideal filtering and airflow effectiveness,” points out Dr. Chmielus.

While both of those copper and stainless metal filters have been 3D printed by ExOne, and are at present getting tested by Pitt University, copper alone has been regarded to have antibacterial homes for pretty some time, in accordance to ExOne. The business describes that the first recorded use of copper to eliminate germs was in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, the oldest regarded professional medical document in background, in accordance to the Smithsonian. Furthermore, lots of experiments have verified copper’s disinfectant powers, together with 1 in 2015 which, funded by the U.S. Office of Protection, discovered that copper alloys contributed to a 58 p.c reduction in infections. 

Close up of reusable and sterilizable copper filter 3D printed by ExOne in partnership with Pitt. Photo via ExOne.
Close up of reusable and sterilizable copper filter 3D printed by ExOne in partnership with Pitt. Photograph by using ExOne.

ExOne’s steel binder jetting 3D printing certification technological innovation

ExOne designed the first iteration of their binder jetting technology in 1996, which it has since adopted for its sand and metal 3D printing certification devices. It’s variety of metallic 3D printers features the Innovent+, an entry-level process developed for R&D and tiny portion generation. At Formnext 2018, the business launched its X1 25 Pro system, which was intended to help a much larger construct quantity and the equivalent powder metallurgy abilities powders from the Innovent+. 

Close to a year later in November 2019, the enterprise introduced the X1 160Pro. The company’s largest equipment to date, it has been made for superior quantity, substantial scale output of conclude-use elements and castings.

Additionally, ExOne has engaged in a number of partnerships to establish its metallic binder jetting technologies. Previous 12 months it introduced a collaboration with Sandvik Additive Manufacturing certification