Binder jetting is an additive manufacturing process that uses a liquid binding agent to help build a part in the additive layer-by-layer process.
Typically, the liquid binder is jetted through nozzles onto the powder bed in a pattern that represents the desired part. The binder helps the powder layers adhere to each other, usually without the need for heat. As the machine spreads a new layer of powder over the old, the nozzles jet another layer of binder and this process repeats until the object is built.
The powder material can be metals, sands, or ceramics. Sand parts usually do not need further processing once the part is built. For metals and ceramics, though, an additional step may be required to remove the binder material. This step is typically done through hot isostatic pressing or sintering in a furnace to burn off the binder. This step often increases the density of the final material.
One benefit of this additive process is that it does not add residual stress to a part, a side effect of other additive processes that use heat to help build a part. In addition, binder jetting does not require the use of supports for a part as the bed of powder serves as the support. Removing the part from the bed is simple as any powder that is not bound falls away or is easily brushed away and recycled.
Additive vendors continue to increase the speed their machines reach to spread the powder.