World-first service starts in Suffolk thanks to engineering partnership

1 min read

​An engineering company in Suffolk has announced a major partnership to bring a world’s first-of-its-kind service.

CMG Technologies, a metal injection moulding (MIM) specialist in Rendlesham, has partnered with 3D printing company 3DGBIRE Ltd.

CMG will provide debinding and sintering services for parts that have been produced via additive manufacturing (3D printing) using BASF Forward AM’s filaments, which are a mixture of metal powders and plastic.

The partnership, which launched on 20th September 2021, sees 3D printed and MIM parts debound and sintered in the same oven at the same time for the first ever time.

Rachel Garret, director of CMG Technologies, said: “CMG are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with BASF into the AM market. We have over 20 years of experience within the MIM industry, and our extensive knowledge developed over the last two decades means that this is a very natural progression for us.

“We can apply our skills within debinding and sintering of MIM parts directly to the debinding and sintering of 3D metal printed parts to ensure we are processing parts to the highest quality and accuracy.”

The combination of parts from 3D printing and MIM manufacturing methods will lead to huge cost savings and a reduction in lead time for customers using these services, all while keeping services within the UK.

Previously, parts had to be shipped to Germany which became increasingly costly and increased lead times.

Director of 3DGBIRE, Paul Croft, said: “Before Brexit you could quickly and cost effectively ship parts and goods to Germany, that is no longer the case, so we were very keen to establish a debinding and sintering offering in the UK that enables customers to realise the huge cost saving opportunities of additive manufacturing.”

Tobias Rödlmeier, business development manager for Metal Filaments at BASF Forward AM, added: “3DGBIRE and CMG Technologies have merged two industries in their service offering: Conventional metal injection moulding based on Catamold technology and 3D printing with metal fused filament fabrication using Ultrafuse 316L or 17-4PH.

We are very pleased that this efficient solution is now open to our UK Ultrafuse Metal Filament customers.”

CMG Technologies is an internationally renowned specialist in MIM, a manufacturing process involving the manipulation of metal powders to behave like plastic. This is then used to injection mould precision components.

The MIM process allows intricate components to be created efficiently to benefit thousands of products across many industries including medical, aerospace, automotive and industrial.