Design for Binder Jetting 306

“Design for Binder Jetting 306” provides an overview of basic design considerations for binder jetting processes, systems, and applications. This course introduces users to the unique physical properties associated with common binding agents and raw materials like sand, metal, and ceramic powder. In addition, it also highlights finishing and post-processing challenges associated with binder jetting, including factors for secondary processes like infiltrating and sintering. Binder jetting has several manufacturing applications, including common usage for sand molds, casting, and complex metal objects with low strength, ductility, and toughness. After completing "Design for Binder Jetting," users will understand how various materials function during the design process for binder jetting and how they are used with various applications, including end-use production. Users will also be able to recognize basic safety and design issues associated with binder jetting parts and products.

Class Details

Class Name:
Design for Binder Jetting 306
Number of Lessons:

Class Outline

  • Binder Jetting and DFAM
  • The Binder Jetting Process
  • Binder Jetting Applications
  • Design Considerations for Binder Jetting
  • Binder Jetting Design Software
  • Binder Jetting Process Review
  • Build Material Selection
  • Raw Materials
  • Binder Agents
  • Design for Green Parts
  • Infiltration and Thermal Treatments
  • Binder Jetting Finishing and Post-Processing.
  • Final Review


  • Describe basic design considerations for binder jetting.
  • Describe the basics of binder jetting processes.
  • Identify common binder jetting applications.
  • Describe design considerations for binder jetting.
  • Describe the necessary software for the binder jetting design process.
  • Describe build material considerations for binder jetting.
  • Describe the key properties of common binder jetting raw materials.
  • Describe key properties of binding agents used with binder jetting.
  • Describe design issues associated with green parts.
  • Describe design factors for infiltration and thermal treatments in binder jetting.
  • Describe design factors for finishing and post-processing.

Job Roles



Vocabulary Term Definition
3D printing The process of producing a 3D object using a specialized tool that creates successive layers of material. 3D printing must technically involve the use of a print head or nozzle, but the term is often used interchangeably with additive manufacturing (AM).
abrasive blasting A mechanical preparation method that involves spraying a surface with dry particulate media at high velocity. Abrasive blasting is also called blast finishing.
abrasive finishing The use of an abrasive, such as sandpaper, to polish and smooth the surface of a part. Abrasive finishing is commonly used to improve the surface finish of an additive manufacturing part.
additive manufacturing AM. The process of successively layering materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping, mass customization, and increased part complexity.
alloys A uniform mixture of two or more materials. Alloys must have a metallic component as one of the materials in their composition.
aluminum oxide A very hard ceramic material composed of aluminum and oxygen. Aluminum oxide is often used as an abrasive grain because it is very hard.
AM Additive manufacturing. The process of successively layering materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping, mass customization, and increased part complexity.
binder jetting An additive manufacturing method in which liquid binder is used to join powdered materials to create a part. Binder jetting can use a variety of powdered build materials, including polymer, metal, and sand.
binding agent An adhesive material that holds together two or more other materials. A binding agent holds together powdered materials to make a solid part in binder jetting.
brace A device that steadies or supports other components. Braces make structures stronger or firmer when designed correctly.
build platform The flat surface on which a part is additively manufactured. The build platform can either be a permanent machine surface from which parts are removed or a surface that can be removed from a machine once the build is complete.
cast iron An iron alloy usually containing more than 2% carbon, along with silicon and sulfur. Cast iron products are formed using molds and casting processes.
casting A manufacturing process that forms a metal part by pouring molten metal into a mold and letting it solidify into its final shape. Castings tend to have rougher surface textures.
ceramics An inorganic material that consists of both metallic and nonmetallic atoms held together by a strong primary bond. Ceramics include metal oxides, nitrides, and glasses.
chemicals Any substance, or mixture of substances. Chemicals may be in the form of solids, liquids, or gases, and may consist of an element such as hydrogen, or a combination of elements, such as water or saltwater.
computer-assisted design CAD. Computer software used to create a 3D model of a part before it goes into prototyping or production. Computer-aided design models are digital representations of the different aspects of a part.
conceptualization In the five-step design process, to form an idea about a possible part or manufactured good. Conceptualization is one of the initial stages of design for manufacturing (DFM) or design for additive manufacturing (DFAM).
concrete A particulate composite usually made from a mixture of stone, sand, cement, and water. Concrete is often used in the construction industry.
core Shapes in the mold cavity that create the internal surfaces of the casting. When metal enters the cavity, it flows around the core and solidifies against it.
curing The process of hardening a material through exposure to heat or another hardening agent, such as ultraviolet (UV) light. Curing is used to harden brittle additively manufactured parts created using powder-based methods and parts made from liquid photopolymer.
curing To cause a material to bond and solidify by permanently cross-linking its molecules through heat, light, time, or chemical means. Curing may occur when building materials are exposed to thermal treatments or when they cool and solidify.
de-powdering A post-processing operation used to clean additive manufactured parts made from powder. De-powdering takes place in enclosures to help protect operators from the powder.
design In the five-step design process, the creation of the actual part specifications. Designing involves creating the blueprints and prototypes for a part.
design for additive manufacturing DFAM. The methodology of planning, testing, and creating an additively manufactured part that functions optimally. Design for additive manufacturing allows engineers to mostly focus on part functionality.
ductility A material's ability to be drawn, stretched, or formed without breaking. Ductility generally increases as hardness decreases.
engine block A solid automotive part that contains cylinders and other components. Engine blocks are often created by casting processes using cores to shape their internal components.
escape hole A design solution for removing excess materials from a hollow part. Escape holes are used in binder jetting to safely reduce the risk of damage to a green part during the de-powdering process.
filter A screen used for limiting contamination by trapping and separating particulate matter. A filter can be used to strain out debris and other contaminants.
finishing A process applied to a manufactured part that goes beyond making the part to the correct shape and size. Sanding, heat treating, and painting are examples of finishing.
flame retardant An additive that helps a material to resist igniting when exposed to a flame or elevated temperatures. Flame retardants are often added to polyurethane foam.
foundry A factory that produces castings. Foundries typically pour heated or molten metal in molds to form parts when cooled.
furan A binder resin made of furfuryl alcohol and furfural which enhances green strength. Furan is commonly used in traditional foundry processes.
furfuryl alcohol A chemical produced from organic waste like corncobs. Furfuryl alcohol is a key ingredient used in the production of furan.
fused deposition modeling FDM. A material extrusion process that builds parts through extruding successive layers of material. Fused deposition modeling is one of the most accessible and affordable types of additive manufacturing (AM), though it creates parts with poor surface finish and has relatively low build speed.
G code A programming language that uses letters and numbers to form commands for machine tools. G code programs are used to direct tool movements in additive manufacturing, CNC machining, and hybrid machining.
green A weak part made from powdered materials bound with adhesive into its final shape. Green parts are extremely fragile and must undergo various post-processing steps to harden them before use.
green sand A material consisting of sand mixed with additives, such as clay, coal, and water. Green sand, which is the primary molding material for sand casting processes, is also called foundry sand.
grit Abrasive material. Grit is often used in passive physical surface treatment methods.
hinges A mechanical joint that is capable of movement. Hinges can be created as a single integrated part using additive manufacturing (AM) technology.
hopper Large bins that hold raw materials. Hoppers serve as the entryway for resin into an additive manufacturing machine.
Inconel A superalloy based in nickel and chromium that is designed to perform well in extreme environments. Inconel resists both oxidation and corrosion.
infiltrate The process of a liquid or molten substance entering a porous material in order to fill any empty spaces or voids. Infiltration is a specialized secondary processing step that is sometimes used to harden and strengthen parts produced by binder jetting.
infiltration The process of a substance entering a porous material in order to fill any empty spaces or voids. Infiltration is a specialized post-processing step that is sometimes used to harden and strengthen parts produced by binder jetting.
lightweight Replacing one part or object with a lighter version for identical use. Lightweighting is a manufacturing concept that lighter parts will lead to greater efficiency.
lightweighting Replacing one part or object with a lighter version for identical use. Lightweighting is a manufacturing concept that lighter parts will lead to greater efficiency.
mass production The process of creating a product in large amounts, usually on an assembly line. Mass production occurred as a result of assembly lines used during the second industrial revolution.
mechanical properties A characteristic that describes how a material reacts when subjected to a force that attempts to stretch, compress, bend, dent, scratch, or break it. Mechanical properties include hardness, ductility, and strength.
personal protection equipment PPE. Any clothing or device worn to minimize exposure to hazards or prevent injury. Common additive manufacturing (AM) personal protective equipment includes gloves, safety goggles, and nonflammable clothing.
phenolic A type of thermoset that is rigid and relatively inexpensive. Phenolics are often used with binder agents in additive manufacturing.
planning In the five-step design process, assesses the best ways to create the conceptualized part. Planning involves initial considerations of the design and of the practical concerns related to the manufacturing process.
plating The process of adding a thin layer of metal to serve as a decorative or protective coating on a part. Plating is a detailed, multistep process, but results in a long lasting, durable coating.
polishing An abrasive finishing process used to improve the surface of a part to a very fine finish. Polishing results in a smooth and shiny part surface.
polymer A resin-based binder material used in binder jetting processes. Polymer binders are a general binder category used to create metal parts.
porosity An empty space between the grains and bond in a binder jetted part. Porosity is often determined by the number of small voids within a binder jetted part.
post-processing A group of procedures that are used to clean, improve, or otherwise finish a part for use by a manufacturer or consumer. Post-processing for additively manufactured parts includes abrasive finishing, heat treatment, and painting.
powder A collection of small, uniform, and separate particles of a solid material. Powdered materials for binder jetting additive manufacturing (AM) processes include particles of metals, ceramics, and sand.
powder bed The area of a powder-based additive manufacturing (AM) machine that holds granulated build material and provides or holds the build platform. Powder beds are used in powder bed fusion (PBF) and binder jetting.
powder bed The area of a powder-based additive manufacturing machine that holds granulated construction material and provides the build platform. Powder beds are used in additive manufacturing systems, including binder jetting, selective laser sintering (SLS), and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).
production In the five-step design process, the manufacturing of a finished part for delivery to a customer. Production is the final stage of design for manufacturing (DFM).
raw materials An unprocessed or lightly-processed component used to make the finished part. Raw materials in manufacturing include metal, plastic, sand, and ceramic.
recoater A device that slides forwards and backwards over top the surface of a binder jetting build platform to deposit build materials that will be treated by binder agent. Recoaters spread the raw material powders in thin, even layers to ensure correct part layer thickness.
repeatability The ability of a manufacturing process to produce consistent and uniform results. Repeatability is greater for traditional manufacturing than for additive manufacturing.
respirators A breathing device with a very fine filter worn to prevent the inhalation of hazardous gases, fumes, or infectious materials. Respirators are worn by additive manufacturing machine operators to reduce exposure to powdered material in the air and fumes produced by the additive manufacturing process.
rotors A rotating part of an electrical or mechanical device. Rotors on a disk brake are connected to a rotating component, such as a wheel hub, that requires braking to slow or stop its rotation.
sand Loose, granular material derived from the crumbling of rocks. Sand can be used in additive manufacturing (AM) to create sand casting molds.
silicon carbide A compound made of silicon and carbon with high thermal conductivity that will not melt at any known temperature. Pure silicon carbide is colorless and used in semiconductors, abrasives, disc brakes, bulletproof armor, and high-temperature applications.
sintering A material manufacturing process that heats pressed and shaped powdered materials to create a solid shape. Sintering can be used to make both metal and ceramic products.
sintering The pressing and heating of powdered materials to create a solid shape. Sintering creates materials with very uniform contents.
slicer A computer program that divides an STL file into layers for additive manufacturing (AM). Slicers, or slicing programs, can either be separate computer programs or part of the machine interface.
software Coded instructions or programs that control computer hardware functions and operations. Software is used to design additively manufactured parts and command machine tool movements during part creation.
stainless steel A grouping of steels that contain large percentages of chromium, as well as smaller amounts of nickel, manganese, and/or nitrogen. Stainless steels, which have very high hardness and corrosion resistance, are sometimes used as build material in additive manufacturing.
stainless steel A type of steel that contains large percentages of chromium, as well as nickel, manganese, and/or nitrogen. Stainless steel has very high hardness and corrosion resistance.
stilts Small posts used to support holes or other open part features while they are exposed to extreme heat in a furnace. Stilts ensure that parts stay in tolerance during secondary processes for binder jetting.
STL Software that can create or convert files which represent 3D models as a series of interconnected triangles. STL software is used in additive manufacturing processes.
strength A material's ability to resist forces that attempt to break or deform it. Strength in an additively manufactured part is determined by its design, build material, and AM method.
strength A material's ability to resist forces that attempt to break or deform it. A material exhibits tensile, compression, or shear strength, depending on the deforming force.
support structures Additional material used in the additive manufacturing process to support the product as it is being constructed. Support material is removed from the AM product as part of the additive manufacturing process.
synthetic sand Uniform grains of matter formulated to possess good resistance to heat. Synthetic sand is typically better suited for mass production.
testing In the five-step design process, examining a part to ensure that it performs its intended function and that it can be satisfactorily manufactured. Testing indicates whether the part needs additional planning or if it is ready for production.
thermal Energy in the form of heat. Thermal energy is used to fuse materials together in some additive manufacturing (AM) printing methods and post-processing applications.
thermal distortion Deformation caused by exposure to excessive heat. Thermal distortion of parts is a concern for all additive manufacturing (AM) methods and processes that use heat, such as material extrusion or powder bed fusion (PBF).
thermoset A group of polymers that are permanently hardened by curing or heating. Thermosets often have high rigidity and thermal stability.
ultraviolet radiation UV radiation. Energy transmitted as invisible wavelengths. Ultraviolet radiation is used in the curing process for some thermosets.
water jacket An outer casing that holds water for cooling. Water jackets usually surround the cylinder block of an internal combustible engine.