SSI Sintered Specialties (SSI) and ExOne Company jointly announced that SSI purchased two metal binder-jetting systems featuring ExOne's patented triple advanced compaction technology (ACT). The metal 3D printers are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2022 and will be located at SSI’s headquarters in Janesville, Wis. The company’s 250,000-square-foot facility also houses what it says is the world’s largest installed capacity of high-temperature sintering furnaces and post-processing technology to support volume production in metal binder jetting.

SSI has over 40 years of powder-metallurgy experience and metal 3D printing adds to the company’s existing capabilities in press and sinter powder metallurgy and nontraditional metal injection molding. With ExOne’s 3D printers combined with its sintering capabilities, the parts manufacturer will offer components with increased complexity and size for volume production with no tooling in a variety of metals.

SSI and North Huntingdon, Pa.-based ExOne will now collaborate in a variety of binder-jet material, automation and process areas. SSI will use the InnoventPro 3L system for material and application development, and the XI 160Pro will be dedicated to volume production through a fully automated cell with continuous sintering and furnace equipment. The InnoventPro 3L has a build area of 220 x 125 x 100 mm, and ExOne says the X1 160Pro is the world’s largest metal binder jetting system with a build area of 800 x 500 x 400 mm.

Binder-jet additive manufacturing is a method of 3D printing in which a digital file is used to quickly inkjet a binder into a bed of powder particles – such as metal – to create a solid part one thin layer at a time. When printing metals, the final bound metal part must be sintered in a furnace to fuse the particles together into a solid object. ExOne’s Triple ACT ensures high consistency, repeatability and quality in the printed part.