The Virtual Foundry wins patent for extrudable filament production process

November 25, 2019

The Virtual Foundry wins patent for extrudable filament production process

The Virtual Foundry, LLC, Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA, a manufacturer of metal and ceramic filaments for Additive Manufacturing systems, has won a patent for its proprietary process for extruding metal, glass or ceramic powder with a thermoplastic binder into continuous filament, suitable for use in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) Additive Manufacturing.

The company’s plastic-infused metal, ceramic and glass filaments enable these materials to be used to additively manufacture parts on inexpensive FFF equipment. The development of these filaments was reportedly made possible by continuing advancements in Powder Metallurgy and sintering practices.

The company produces and sells a range of metal filaments, including:

  • The Filamet range of filaments:
    • Aluminium 6061
    • Bronze
    • Copper
    • High carbon iron
    • Stainless steel 17-4
    • Stainless steel 316L
    • Titanium 64-5
  • The lead-free high-density Rapid 3DShield Tungsten filament

The Virtual Foundry states that its patented approach enables manufacturers to significantly cut product development times and create functional metal prototype parts in a few days, compared to the several weeks required to machine parts using subtractive manufacturing. The ability to use comparatively affordable FFF equipment also lowers the barrier to entry for manufacturers who want to begin experimenting with metal AM, but do not want to invest in an expensive metal Additive Manufacturing machine.

“Together, our hybrid filaments, FDM printers and sintering ovens represent a new, more affordable, open-source platform for metal Additive Manufacturing,” stated Bradley Woods, founder of The Virtual Foundry. “We believe they will have an impact on every category of manufacturing, from aerospace and medical to general foundry and tooling applications.”

In the latest issue of PIM International…

Download PDF

Extensive MIM, CIM industry and sinter-based AM industry news, plus the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Global Markets for Metal Injection Moulding: Data and insight from World PM2022 and beyond
  • HP Metal Jet: Growing momentum and new applications as Binder Jetting comes of age
  • Sintex: Exploring the full flexibility of metal powder-based processes for corrosion-resistant applications
  • Tritone’s MoldJet: The definition-defying AM technology advancing steadily toward commercialisation
  • The metal powder-based processing of titanium: MIM and AM-related highlights from the PMTi2022 conference
  • Opening the door to MIM parts: A case study on the conversion of die cast door hinges

The latest news from the MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM industries

Don't miss any new issue of PIM International, and stay up to date with the latest industry news. Sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free-to-access PIM International magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


    Browse the archive


    Looking for suppliers of materials, production equipment and finished MIM, CIM or sinter-based AM parts?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PIM International.

    • Metal powders
    • MIM, CIM & AM parts producers
    • Binders & feedstocks
    • Feedstock mixers
    • Furnaces & furnace supplies
    • Atmospheres & gas generation
    • HIP systems & services
    • Injection moulding machines
    • AM technology
    • Debinding systems
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap