Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Magnets Outperform Traditional Versions & Conserve Rare Materials
Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have made isotropic, neodymium-iron-boron bonded permanent magnets using their Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine. The new magnets outperform bonded magnets made using traditional techniques while conserving critical materials. The project is part of the Department of Energy's Critical Materials Institute (CMI), which seeks ways to eliminate and reduce reliance on rare earth metals. While conventional sintered magnet manufacturing can result in material waste of as much as 30 to 50 percent, additive manufacturing will simply capture and reuse those materials with nearly zero waste. The printing process also produces complex shapes, requires no tooling, and is faster than traditional injection methods - potentially resulting in a much more economic manufacturing process.