Schunk Teams with AIM3D to Focus on Copper 3D Printing

The materials specialist company Schunk is now also a service provider for 3D metal printing.

The CEM system ExAM 255 from AIM3D in Thale, Germany -- (from left to right) Daniel Alfonso (Global Business Development -- Metal Additive Manufacturing), Christian Stertz (Project Manager Plant Engineering), Marcus Trapp (Process Manager at Schunk) and Dennis Grützemann (Operator Plant Engineering).





Schunk, a supplier of series-production solutions for metal powder pressing and injection molding as well as other technologies, has expanded its expertise to include 3D metal printing at its facility in Thale, Germany. This expansion of the metal injection moulding process chain in the field of additive manufacturing makes sense with regard to future bionic construction applications and topology optimization.

Component characteristics and cost-effectiveness require different process technologies and manufacturing strategies when it comes to 3D metal printing. In 2020, Schunk expanded its expertise to include the composite extrusion modelling process (CEM) by acquiring an ExAM 255 multi-material 3D printing system from AIM3D. The first results of this development partnership can now be seen.

Development Partnership Between Schunk and AIM3D

The aim of the cooperation between Schunk and AIM3D covers three strategic approaches:

3D Metal Printing with Copper

3D component development in copper is of strategic importance to Schunk, as there are only a few suppliers on the market.

The conductive material is required for certain components in the electronics industry. However, the range of industries and applications is wide, including applications focusing on thermal management, primarily in mechanical and plant engineering. There are also applications with an emphasis on low-loss energy transmission, such as e-mobility, welding and hardening technology, as well as in the field of energy supply.

Pure copper as well as copper alloys are utilized in these applications. The ExAM 255 system from AIM3D featuring CEM technology enables thermal or electrical conductivity advantages to be retained in 3D printing processes. This is a unique selling point, highlighting better and higher conductivity values on the surface and within the components compared to other additive manufacturing processes. In addition, the CEM process offers material price and resource conservation benefits.

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