The material, made up of a wear-resistant phase bonded together by a ductile binder metal, can be used to make metal cutting and mining tools such as turning inserts, end-mills, and drill bits, the company said.
However, because of their inherent hardness, cemented carbides can be challenging to machine, especially with complex geometries.
“When implementing additive manufacturing into your business, you basically eliminate all previous design restrictions – enabling you to focus on designing components based on operational needs and requirements, without having to adapt to a specific shape or form,” said Anders Ohlsson, lead product manager at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing. “[T]he ability to 3D print cemented carbide speeds up our time-to-market rather dramatically. Prototyping used to take 6-12 months – and now our lead time to date is a matter of weeks.”