The use of metal injection molding (MIM) is mainly forced in areas where small to medium sized components of a high complexity are needed in sufficiently large quantities (over 100 000 parts). It is a classical serial production technique which becomes more profitable with larger production quantities, as every geometry needs its own mold.
The complexity that can be reached with metal injection molding exceeds the possibilities of other machining or casting techniques, but is also limited to the design guidelines of injection molding. Exemplary components that are produced via metal injection molding are case parts, components for the field of valve technology or switch mechanisms. Further prevalence of metal injection molding is restricted mainly by the high quantities that are needed, as well as by the design specifications and the limited part sizes.
All of these limitations can be overcome by using the CEM (Composite Extrusion Modeling) process developed by us. No mold is needed any more, thus removing this matter of expense in comparison to metal injection molding. The CEM process can also offer a much wider range of possibilities when it comes to the design of the parts, as this aspect is now extended to the range commonly known from 3D FDM printing. As an example, it is possible to design hollow components or components that are filled with a honeycomb structure, thereby saving material and weight. The size of the components can also be significantly increased by using the CEM process: Our ExAM 255 can already produce components that are up to 255 x 255 x 255 mm³ big. In future, we would like to extend this further. Additionally, just as in classical serial production, the CEM process offers the possibility to produce prototypes, special parts and small series of parts all from the same material. This results in a significant reduction of costs at a simultaneously low initial investment, as the infrastructure for the materials and the sintering processes are usually already present.
Opt for your ExAM system from AIM3D now and increase your possibilities in the area of metal injection molding!