Frequently asked

While developing our technology, we’ve received many questions from those interested in metal 3D printing. These questions tend to fall in similar patterns, so here are the most frequently asked questions about Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing and the Incus Hammer Lab35.

What software does the
Hammer Lab35 need?

Our user-friendly data preparation software is provided by Incus as part of the machine package. Additional software features can be added according to your need and could include in-line monitoring, creation of a print report, or access to all printer parameters. If more sophisticated data preparation is required, Incus is happy to recommend third party software solutions.

Are there any size restrictions for parts printed by the Hammer Lab35?

In the Hammer Lab35, parts can be placed inside the whole building volume of 89.6 x 56.0 x 120.0 mm (X/Y/Z) without supporting structures. Besides the physical space of the printing volume there are no other restrictions concerning the green part size. However, please consider design recommendations concerning the debinding and sintering of green parts, which are similar to those in Metal Injection Molding. We will post guidelines soon.

Which materials can be printed? Can the Hammer Lab35 print multiple materials at once?

The Hammer Lab35 is an industrial 3D printing solution which can print 316L stainless steel, titanium 64, brass, tungsten, hard metals, diamond and many more. So far only one material can be printed at a time. Please contact us if you are interested in development projects concerning multi-material printing.

Can the Hammer Lab35 print precious metals?

Yes, there are no technical restrictions for printing precious metals, such as silver, gold or platinum. Contact us if you are interested in a development project for precious materials.

How long does it take to print one full batch?

The printing time is about 10 mm/h @ 25 µm layer thickness, so the whole volume is used in 12h. The speed doubles when using 50 µm as a layer thickness.

What is the minimum wall thickness the Hammer Lab35 can produce?

The minimum wall thickness always depends on the part geometry. Free standing ribs or fins could be printed down to 200µm wall thickness.

What is the porosity of LMM parts?

The achievable densities and mechanical properties are similar to material processed by MIM. LMM printed and sintered 316L stainless steel can reach a density of 98.2 – 99.0%, based on a theoretical density of 7.87 g/cm³.

What is the resolution of the printer?

The standard resolution of the printer is 35 µm in X/Y, which corresponds to 730 dpi. Depending on your application, the optics can be adapted if higher resolution is needed.

What level of detail can be obtained with LMM?

The possible level of detail for text or ornaments is down to 1-3 Pixel (35 µm – 105 µm) depending on the part.

What level of accuracy can be obtained with LMM?

For cubes of 10 mm we achieved an accuracy and repeatability of +-20 µm in the sintered state. Smaller parts yield an even higher accuracy.

What is the average surface roughness of the final part?

The roughness of the sintered part largely depends on the used powder. Typically, we achieve Ra values of less than 5 µm in every direction without any surface treatment.

How much is your shrinkage coefficient? Can it deform some parts?

The shrinkage while sintering is approx. 16-20% in every direction. The shrinkage depends on the type of metal, the part geometry, the powder loading, and the sintering conditions. With LMM, iteration loops can be done quickly to get the right shrinkage coefficient. LMM follows the same design principles for sintering as Metal Injection Molding. To avoid deformation due to gravity, the design of the part could be adapted or sintering support could be used.

After printing, do the printed parts remain UV sensitive?

No, after the printing the mechanical strength of the green part is fully developed. They are not UV sensitive and no post-curing to enhance the strength is necessary.

Are LMM parts as strong as traditionally manufactured metal components?

Yes. The parts created with LMM technology show mechanical properties equivalent to a metal part made with Metal Injection Molding. Detailed information can be found on the Technology page.

Ing. Michael Horn

Head of Sales & Marketing

Talk to our expert

Talk to our expert

Ing. Michael Horn

Head of Sales & Marketing