Multi Jet Fusion begins with a layer of powdered material applied from top-to-bottom on the build platform. The machine applies droplets of fusing and detailing agents along with thermal energy across the powdered material from left to right to fuse the layer. At the end of the scans, supply bins refill the recoater with fresh material. After finishing each layer, the build platform retracts and the material recoater begins again. After the print is finished, the build unit with the material and parts are rolled onto a processing station for cooling and powder excavation. Leftover powder is recycled for use in future builds.
Multi Jet Fusion parts get their high strength and surface quality from the fusing, detailing, and transforming agents unique to the process. The fusing agent is selectively printed where particles will be fused together, whereas the detailing agent is selectively printed to reduce or amplify the fusing agent. Transforming agents regulate the interaction of the fusing and detailing agents with each other and the material to control part attributes at the voxel level. For the HP printers, a voxel is an individually addressable volume element; designers can control the properties of each voxel in an additive build. The attributes that can be controlled at this level include:
–Dimensional accuracy and detail
–Surface roughness, texture and friction coefficient
–Tensile strength, elasticity, hardness and other material properties
–Electrical and thermal conductivity
This process results in some unique benefits, including:
–Highly detailed features – Multi Jet Fusion can produce a 0.02 in. fine feature resolution. This opens up the opportunity to create small intricacies and complex design features, such as embossed text, small holes and living hinges.
–Low cost batch manufacturing – Multi Jet Fusion is one of the faster 3D printing systems on the market. The speed coupled with its build envelope makes Multi Jet Fusion suitable for high-volume batches of small parts to achieve low per-unit pricing. This capability is especially beneficial when working with an additive manufacturing service bureau that can batch multiple orders.