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Contract manufacturing A metal


injection moulded component with pelletised feedstock.


industry as single-use devices. It’s also an ideal fit with MIM, and many of the top MIM manufacturers are utilising metal 3D printing technology for early design testing and MIM experiments. Metal 3D printing can be used to get rapid prototypes in the hands of engineers without the up front cost of tooling. Binder- jet 3D printing is one of the two primary technologies. APP’s proprietary version uses MIM powders and sintering furnaces to create prototype components. The overlap in equipment and technology allows for testing during the component development stage as the prototype components meet the mechanical properties of standard MIM components.


Many medical device manufacturers rely on the expertise of MIM suppliers to design components specific for the MIM process. Design for manufacturing performed by MIM experts can help alleviate component geometry risk. During the design phase, experts review tooling design, component mouldability and part geometry. When designing a MIM part, there are a few key aspects that must be considered. The first is part geometry. Taking some time to consider how a part will be set during sintering is important. If possible, try to avoid geometries that overhang, as these create difficulties when setting parts. Consider designing a part with a flat area for setting to decrease cost. When it’s done with that in mind, the MIM process creates parts with near-wrought properties and unmatched density. This is a key benefit over pressed metal parts. MIM parts also exhibit mechanical properties that are on par with wrought or forged parts.


The metal injection moulding market has grown around 6% annually and is becoming more widely accepted among engineering and supply chain professions. It will continue to grow as more and more companies push for single-use and micro components. ●


50


Medical Device Developments / www.nsmedicaldevices.com


APP


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