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Title:
THREE-DIMENSIONAL METAL OBJECT FORMATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/190276
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A shaping composition for three-dimensional metal object formation can include a shaping binder and a metal shaping mixture. The metal shaping mixture can include aluminum-containing particulates, and secondary metal-containing particulates. The aluminum-containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates can be thermally stable in the shaping composition up to a temperature from about 250 °C to about 500 °C, but can also be interact at a temperature from about 500 °C to about 1000°C.

Inventors:
JANGAM JOHN SAMUEL DILIP (US)
ANTHONY THOMAS (US)
ZHAO LIHUA (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2019/022728
Publication Date:
September 24, 2020
Filing Date:
March 18, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HEWLETT PACKARD DEVELOPMENT CO (US)
International Classes:
B22F7/08; B28B1/00; B33Y10/00; B33Y70/00; B33Y80/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017181054A12017-10-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COSTALES, Shruti et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is Claimed Is:

1. A shaping composition for three-dimensional metal object formation

comprising:

a shaping binder; and

a metal shaping mixture including:

aluminum-containing particulates, and

secondary metal-containing particulates,

wherein the aluminum-containing particulates and the secondary metal- containing particulates are thermally stable in the shaping composition up to a temperature from about 250 °C to about 500 °C, but are interactive at a temperature from about 500 °C to about 1000°C.

2. The shaping composition of claim 1 , wherein the aluminum content and secondary metal content in the metal shaping mixture is at an atomic ratio of from about 10:1 to about 1 :2.

3. The shaping composition of claim 1 , wherein the secondary metal-containing particulates include a metal selected from

4. The shaping composition of claim 1 , wherein the shaping composition further includes a liquid vehicle at from about 10 wt% to about 80 wt%, is in the form of a slurry having a viscosity from about 50 cps to about 5000 cps and which is self-adhesive when applied to a surface of a green body object positioned in any orientation.

5. The shaping composition of claim 1 , wherein the aluminum-containing particulates are aluminum silicon alloy particulates having a D50 particle size from about 1 pm to about 100 pm.

6. The shaping composition of claim 1 , wherein the secondary metal-containing particulates are stainless steel particulates having a D50 particle size from about 1 pm to about 100 pm.

7. The shaping composition of claim 1 , wherein the secondary metal-containing includes iron, and wherein aluminum and iron are present in the metal shaping mixture at an elemental atomic ratio of about 10:1 to about 1 :2.

8. A three-dimensional printing kit comprising:

a particulate build material comprising about 80 wt% to 100 wt% metal build particles having a D50 particle size distribution value from about 1 pm to about 150 pm; and

a binding agent including a liquid vehicle and build binder to apply to particulate build material layers to form a green body object; and

a shaping composition including a metal shaping mixture, the shaping

composition to apply to a surface of the green body object to introduce a shaping composition-induced deformation to the green body object when multiple metals of the metal shaping mixture or multiple metals of the metal shaping mixture and the metal build particles interact upon application of heat.

9. The three-dimensional printing kit of claim 8, wherein the metal shaping mixture including:

aluminum-containing particulates, and

secondary metal-containing particulates, wherein the aluminum-containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates are thermally stable in the shaping composition to a temperature from about 250 °C to about 500 °C, but are interactive at a temperature from about 500 °C to about 1000 °C.

10. The three-dimensional printing kit of claim 8, wherein the metal build particles are copper-containing metal particles including from about 50 wt% to 100 wt% elemental copper.

11. The three-dimensional printing kit of claim 8, wherein the shaping composition further includes a liquid vehicle, wherein the liquid vehicle is present at from about 10 wt% to about 80 wt%, and remaining solids components are present in the shaping composition at from about 20 wt% to about 90 wt%, based on a total weight of the shaping composition.

12. The three-dimensional printing kit of claim 8, wherein the shaping

composition further includes a polymer shaping binder or a polymerizable shaping binder.

13. The three-dimensional printing kit of claim 8, wherein the shaping

composition further includes a reducible-metal compound shaping binder.

14. A method of shaping and heat-fusing a green body object comprising:

applying a coating of shaping composition to a surface of the green body object, the green body object including metal build particles having a D50 particle size distribution value from about 1 pm to about 150 pm, the shaping composition including a metal shaping mixture of first metal-containing particulates and a secondary metal- containing particulates;

introducing a shaping composition-induced deformation to the green body object by heating the green body object with the coating thereon to a shaping temperature to generate an interaction at a surface of the green body object between the first metal- containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates, the first or second metal-containing-particulates and the metal build particles, or the first and second metal-containing particulates and the metal build particles; and

heating the green body object further to a fusing temperature sufficient to fuse the metal build particles together and form a fused metallic object that includes a fused deformation corresponding with the shaping composition-induced deformation.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising a preliminary step of forming the green body object by: iteratively applying individual build material layers of a particulate build material including the metal build particles; and

based on the 3D object model, selectively applying a binding agent to individual build material layers to define individually patterned layers that are built up and bound together to form the green body object.

Description:
THREE-DIMENSIONAL METAL OBJECT FORMATION

BACKGROUND

[0001 ] Three-dimensional (3D) printing may be an additive printing process used to make three-dimensional solid parts from a digital model. Three-dimensional printing is often used in rapid product prototyping, mold generation, mold master generation, and short run manufacturing. Some 3D printing techniques are considered additive processes because they involve the application of successive layers of material. This is unlike other machining processes, which often rely upon the removal of material to create the final part. Some 3D printing methods use chemical binders or adhesives to bind build materials together. Other 3D printing methods involve partial sintering, melting, etc. of the build material. For some materials, partial melting may be

accomplished using heat-assisted extrusion, and for some other materials curing or fusing may be accomplished using, for example, ultra-violet light or infrared light.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0002] FIG. 1 illustrates an example shaping composition in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0003] FIG. 2 illustrates an example three-dimensional printing kit in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0004] FIG. 3 illustrates an example three-dimensional printing kit associated with an additive manufacturing three-dimensional printer in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0005] FIG. 4 illustrates an example green body object printed using a three- dimensional printer and including a shaping composition applied thereto in accordance with the present disclosure; [0006] FIG. 5 illustrates an example green body object and two example fused metallic objects generated therefrom, one which is fused with a shaping composition applied thereto and one which is fused without a shaping composition, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0007] FIG. 6 illustrates an example green body object with a shaping

composition applied thereto as well as an example fused metallic object generated therefrom that formed a single-axis curvature in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0008] FIG. 7 illustrates an example green body object with a shaping

composition applied thereto as well as an example fused metallic object generated therefrom that formed a multi-axis curvature in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 8 illustrates an example green body object with a shaping

composition applied thereto in top plan view and in side cross-sectional views as well as an example shaped and fused metallic object shown in cross-sectional views and in a perspective view that is generated therefrom in accordance with the present disclosure; and

[0010] FIG. 9 is a flow diagram of an example method of shaping and fusing a green body object in accordance with the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011 ] Three-dimensional (3D) printing can be an additive process that can involve the application of successive layers of particulate build material with chemical binders or adhesives printed thereon to bind the successive layers of the particulate build materials together. In some processes, application of binders can be utilized to form a green body object and then a fused three-dimensional physical object can be formed therefrom. More specifically, binding agent can be selectively applied to a layer of a particulate build material on a support bed to pattern a selected region of the layer and then another layer of the particulate build material is applied thereon. The binding agent can be applied to another layer of the particulate build material and these processes can be repeated to form a green part or green body object. The green body object can be sintered or otherwise heat-fused to form a fused metallic object. However, prior to fusing of the green body object, but after 3D printing or otherwise forming the green body object, there is an opportunity for additional shaping prior to heat-fusing the green body object into the fused metallic object that is ultimately formed.

[0012] In accordance with examples of the present disclosure, a shaping composition for three-dimensional metal object formation can include a shaping binder and a metal shaping mixture. The metal shaping mixture can include aluminum- containing particulates as well as secondary metal-containing particulates. The aluminum-containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates can be thermally stable in the shaping composition up to a temperature from about 250 °C to about 500 °C, but in some examples, can also be interactive at a temperature from about 500 °C to about 1000°C. In one example, the aluminum content and secondary metal content in the metal shaping mixture can be present at an atomic ratio of from about 10:1 to about 1 :2.

[0013] In further detail, the shaping composition can further include a liquid vehicle at from about 10 wt% to 80 wt% based on the total weight of the shaping composition. With a liquid vehicle, the shaping composition can be in the form of a slurry having a viscosity from about 50 cps to 5000 cps that is self-adhesive when applied to a surface of a green body object positioned in any orientation. The aluminum- containing particulates can be aluminum silicon alloy particulates, for example, having a D50 particle size from about 1 pm to about 100 pm. The secondary metal-containing particulates can be stainless steel particulates, for example, having a D50 particle size from about 1 pm to about 100 pm. In another example, the secondary metal-containing can include iron, and the aluminum and iron can be present in the metal shaping mixture at an elemental atomic ratio of about 10:1 to about 1 :2.

[0014] In another example, a three-dimensional printing kit can include a particulate build material including about 80 wt% to 100 wt% metal build particles having a D50 particle size distribution value from about 1 pm to about 150 pm, and a binding agent including a liquid vehicle and build binder to apply to particulate build material layers to form a green body object. The kit can further include a shaping composition including a metal shaping mixture. The shaping composition can be to apply to a surface of the green body object to introduce a shaping composition-induced

deformation to the green body object when multiple metals of the metal shaping mixture or multiple metals of the metal shaping mixture and the metal build particles interact upon application of heat. The metal shaping mixture can include, for example, aluminum-containing particulates, and secondary metal-containing particulates. The aluminum-containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates can be thermally stable in the shaping composition to a temperature from about 250 °C to about 500 °C, but can be interactive at a temperature from about 500 °C to about 1000 °C. The metal build particles can be copper-containing metal particles including from about 50 wt% to 100 wt% elemental copper, for example, meaning the metal particles can be 50 wt% copper alloy to 100% pure copper. The shaping composition can further include a liquid vehicle. The liquid vehicle can be present at from about 10 wt% to about 80 wt%, and remaining solids components are present in the shaping composition at from about 20 wt% to about 90 wt%, based on a total weight of the shaping

composition. The shaping composition can further include a shaping binder such as a polymer shaping binder or a polymerizable shaping binder, or alternatively or

additionally, a reducible-metal compound shaping binder.

[0015] In another example, a method of shaping and heat-fusing a green body object can include applying a coating of shaping composition to a surface of the green body object. The green body object can include metal build particles having a D50 particle size distribution value from about 1 pm to about 150 pm, and the shaping composition can include a metal shaping mixture of first metal-containing particulates and a secondary metal-containing particulates. The method can also include introducing a shaping composition-induced deformation to the green body object by heating the green body object with the coating thereon to a shaping temperature to generate an interaction at a surface of the green body object between the first metal-containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates, the first metal-containing- particulates and the metal build particles, or the first metal-containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates and the metal build particles. In further detail, the method can include heating the green body object further to a fusing temperature sufficient to fuse the metal build particles together and form a fused metallic object that includes a fused deformation corresponding with the shaping composition-induced deformation. In one example, the method can include a

preliminary step of forming the green body object by iteratively applying individual build material layers of a particulate build material including the metal build particles, and based on the 3D object model, selectively applying a binding agent to individual build material layers to define individually patterned layers that are built up and bound together to form the green body object.

[0016] It is noted that when discussing the shaping compositions, the three- dimensional printing kits, and/or the methods herein, these discussions can be considered applicable to one another whether or not they are explicitly discussed in the context of that example. Thus, for example, when discussing aluminum-containing particulates of the metal shaping mixture, such disclosure is also relevant to and directly supported in the context of the three-dimensional printing kits and methods, and vice versa.

[0017] It is also understood that terms used herein will take on their ordinary meaning in the relevant technical field unless specified otherwise. In some instances, there are terms defined more specifically throughout the specification or included at the end of the present specification, and thus, these terms can have a meaning as described herein.

[0018] Shaping Compositions

[0019] In accordance with examples of the present disclosure, a shaping composition 100 for three-dimensional metal object formation is shown by way of example in FIG. 1. The shaping composition can include a shaping binder 104 and a metal shaping mixture 110. The term“shaping binder” is used to distinguish the binder used in the shaping composition from the binder that may be used in the fusing agent during a three-dimensional object build. The latter binder mentioned can be referred to as a“build binder.” As the shaping binder and the build binder can be selected from a common list of compounds, e.g., polymer, reducible-metal compounds, etc., sometimes the simple term“binder” is used herein, but it is understood to be one or the other type of binder based on context. If the context allows for it to mean both types of binder, than the term can be applicable to both types of binder. In further detail, the metal shaping mixture 110 can include aluminum-containing particulates 106 as well as secondary metal-containing particulates 108. In some examples, the shaping composition can include a liquid vehicle, such as water or an aqueous vehicle, or can be a non-aqueous liquid vehicle. [0020] The aluminum-containing particulates 106 and the secondary metal- containing particulates 108 can be thermally stable in the shaping composition to a temperature from about 250 °C to about 500 °C, up to about 600 °C, up to about 700 °C, for example, but can also be interactive at a temperature from about 500 °C to about 1000 °C, from about 600 °C to about 1000 °C, or from about 700 °C to about 1000 °C. The terms“interactive” or“interact” or a variant thereof when referring to the metals or metal alloys described herein refers to various chemical or physical reactions that can occur between multiple metals or alloys when exposed to heat, such as at shaping temperatures, T shape. For example, multiple metals of a shaping composition, or more specifically multiple metals of a metal shaping mixture of the shaping composition, can be exothermic reactive with one another when exposed to heat. Alternatively, as another example, one metal or multiple metals of the shaping composition (or the metal shaping mixture of the shaping composition) can be interactive with metal build particles of the green body object, e.g., aluminum and/or other metal(s) of the shaping

composition can form an alloy or otherwise interact at a surface of the green body object with metal build particles thereof. Whether exothermically reactive, physically reactive, or some other interaction occurs between metals or alloys of different particles at a surface of the green body object, the heat (of the furnace and/or exothermic heat of the reaction, etc.) at the surface of the green body object during ramp-up to fusing temperature, T fUSe , can cause shaping or deformation (or 4D-shaping) to occur. If aluminum is used as one of the metal shaping mixture metals, In one example, the aluminum content and secondary metal content in the metal shaping mixture 110 can be present at an atomic ratio of from about 10:1 to about 1 :2 (aluminum to secondary metal ratio), or from about 5:1 to about 1 :2, or from about 2:1 to about 1 :2, for example. The aluminum-containing particulates and/or the secondary metal-containing

particulates can independently be included in the shaping metal shaping mixture at a D50 particle size from about 1 pm to about 100 pm, from about 2 pm to about 75 pm, or from about 5 pm to about 50 pm, for example. Aluminum is given herein by way of example as a“first metal” to be used with the secondary metal, but other combinations of metals can be used that may promote 4D-shaping of otherwise 3D-printed or 3D- formed objects. [0021 ] To provide some examples, the aluminum-containing particulates can be elemental aluminum particulates, or can be aluminum alloy, such as aluminum silicon alloy, aluminum manganese alloy, aluminum silicon magnesium alloy, aluminum zinc alloy, aluminum zinc magnesium, and/or aluminum copper alloy particulates, for example. The secondary metal-containing particulates can be an elemental metal or metal alloy that is interactive, e.g., exothermically reactive or otherwise may assist with aluminum alloying with metal build particles of the green body object at a surface thereof for example. Example metals that can be used as the secondary metal can include iron, copper, nickel, titanium, zinc, and/or tin, for example. Example alloys that can be used include steel, stainless steel, cast iron, alloys of iron and nickel, alloys of iron and chrome, alloys of copper such as bronze, brass, and other copper alloys, e.g., copper alloys with 50 wt% up to less than 100 wt% copper content, or the like. In one specific example, the metal shaping mixture can be formulated so that there is an aluminum and iron elemental content having an atomic ratio from about 10: 1 to about 1 :2, from about 5:1 to about 1 :2, from about 2:1 to about 1 :2, from about 4:5 to about 5:4, from about 4:3 to about 3:4, or from about 3:2 to about 2:3, for example. The aluminum and iron can be provided by elemental metals and/or alloys, but the aluminum and iron content can be within this range, for example.

[0022] In further detail, the shaping composition 100 can be in the form of a coating in one example, or can be in the form of a slurry, in another example. The shaping composition can be self-supporting and/or self-adhesive to a green body object, and in some instances, self-adhesive to a green body object when oriented in any direction, counteracting or holding to green body object surfaces with gravitational pull working against the shaping composition location relative to a surface of the green body object. In examples of the present disclosure, the shaping composition can have a viscosity from about 500 to about 800 cps, from about 800 cps to about 2000 cps, or from about 2000 cps to about 5000 cps. These more viscous shaping compositions can be applied by a mechanical applicator, such as a roller, a hard tool such as a spackle applicator or a blade, a blade coater, a Meyer rod coater, etc. With less viscous compositions, sprayers, jetting architecture, dip coaters, curtain coaters, or brushes, or the like can be used to apply the shaping compositions. Example viscosities for these types of shaping compositions can be from about 50 cps to about 250 cps, from about 50 cps to about 100 cps, or from about 100 cps to about 500 cps, for example.

Viscosities outside these ranges can be used as well. Example coating thickness for the shaping compositions can be from about 1/2 mm to about 10 mm, from about 1 mm to about 8 mm, or from about 2 mm to about 5 mm.

[0023] As mentioned, in addition to the shaping binder 104, the shaping composition 100 can also include a liquid vehicle. For example, a blend of the metal shaping mixture and the shaping binder can be added to a liquid vehicle, or the liquid vehicle can be included with the metal shaping mixture/binder blend as a fluid

composition, e.g., paste, slurry, etc. The liquid vehicle and the shaping binder can be similar to that which is used in fluids that are applied to particulate build material for printing three-dimensional green objects, which is described in greater detail

hereinafter. Thus, the description of liquid vehicle and build binder as it relates to printing three-dimensional objects presented hereinafter is relevant to the shaping compositions, and that description is incorporated herein by reference. In short, however, liquid vehicle and build binder can be used to form a binding agent. The liquid vehicle can be water or an aqueous liquid vehicle with other components, e.g., organic co-solvent, surfactant, biocide or fungicide, etc. The liquid vehicle can likewise be organic or non-aqueous, including from no water to deminimis concentrations of water, e.g., up to 5 wt%. The build binder can be a polymeric binder such as a latex binder, a polyurethane binder, or can be a reducible-metal compound binder, such as copper nitrate or other metal compound as described in greater detail hereinafter. The shaping binder can likewise be any of these types of binders, and can be present in the shaping composition at from about 2 wt% to about 30 wt%, from about 3 wt% to about 25 wt%, from about 3 wt% to about 20 wt%, from about 4 wt% to about 15 wt%, from about 2 wt% to about 10 wt%, or from about 2 wt% to about 8 wt%, for example. In further detail, the liquid vehicle can be present in the shaping composition at from about 10 wt% to about 80 wt%, from about 15 wt% to about 60 wt%, from about 20 wt% to about 50 wt%, or from about 25 wt% to about 50 wt%.

[0024] In further detail, aluminum works well for one of the two metals of the metal shaping mixture because it can interact, e.g., exothermic reaction or other metal- metal interaction, with multiple secondary metals, and in some instances, it can diffuse or be infused with the metal build particles used to form the green body object. Using copper metal build particles as an example, aluminum can melt at a relatively low temperature, and a portion of the aluminum can diffuse into copper particles and another portion can remain to react with the secondary metal-containing particulates, such as an iron-based metal or alloy, e.g., stainless steel. In some examples, the metal shaping mixture that is present in the shaping composition can be from 10 wt% to 60 wt% aluminum, from 20 wt% to 50 wt% aluminum, or from 25 wt% to 45 wt% aluminum, based on total elemental aluminum content compared to the weight of the metal shaping mixture. These weight percentages would be reduced if based on the total weight of the shaping composition, which can include liquid vehicle, shaping binder, and/or other components used to form the slurry and act to bind the shaping

composition together. The secondary metal can likewise be present in the metal shaping mixture at from 10 wt% to 60 wt%, from 20 wt% to 50 wt%, or from 25 wt% to 45 wt%, based on the secondary metal content compared to the weight of the metal shaping mixture. In some examples, it has been found that higher concentrations of aluminum can lead to increased curvature, particularly with copper-containing metal build particles. Without being bound to any particular theory, this may be related to the diffusion of the aluminum into the copper particles, and the interaction with the secondary metal or alloy and the copper-containing build particles. In some examples, it has been found that forming an alloy between the aluminum and the metal build particles can occur prior to curvature being introduced into the green body part, which can occur initially during a shaping temperature range, which is usually prior to fusing temperatures, for example. For example, forming an alloy between aluminum (from the metal shaping mixture) and copper (from the green body object) at just the surface or slightly therebeneath can lead to significant deformation of the green body object, e.g., from about 0.5 pm to about 5 pm.

[0025] Thus, with these properties and in accordance with the present disclosure, when the shaping composition has the correct formulation, thickness, and/or the like, and/or is applied at an appropriate location to introduce control the shaping of the green body object during heating, the metal particulate mixture in the shaping composition, applied as a coating to a surface of the green body object, can provide an interaction that introduces a new formation or shape to the green body object. This can be by a chemical or physical interaction, e.g., exothermic reaction or other reactive or alloying interaction, at the surface of the green body object. Thus, the shaping composition can be used to control green body object deformation by introducing new shapes to the green body object, e.g. 4D printing. This can be done by varying the compositional makeup of the shaping composition, including thicker coatings, and/or by placing the shaping composition at locations not intended to reduce deformation, etc., to introduce a new formation or shape beyond the green body object configuration as printed or otherwise formed. Thus, the shaping compositions can be used to“control” the green body object by introducing new shapes to the green body object beyond that which could be used for shape retention while at intermediate and fusing temperatures.

However, it is noted that in another example, the shaping composition can be used alternatively to counterbalance gravitational forces that may lead to sagging while exposed to shaping temperatures and/or fusing temperatures. This chemical, physical, and/or exothermic reaction that occurs at a surface of the green body object can thus be used as“shaping composition-induced surface support,” as it can be applied to the surface and supports the original structure during heat fusing, e.g., preventing unwanted deformation while approximating or holding the original green body shape.

Three-Dimensional Printing Kits and Systems

[0026] In accordance with examples of the present disclosure, a three- dimensional printing kit 200 is shown in FIG. 2. The three-dimensional printing kit can include a particulate build material 200 including about 80 wt% to 100 wt% metal build particles having a D50 particle size distribution value from about 1 pm to about 150 pm, a binding agent 210 to apply to particulate build material layers to form a green body object, and a shaping composition 100. The shaping composition can be as described with respect to FIG. 1 and elsewhere herein. For example, the shaping composition can include a metal shaping mixture to apply to a surface of the green body object to introduce a shaping composition-induced deformation to the green body object when multiple metals of the metal shaping mixture interact upon application of heat, and/or as aluminum diffuses into a surface of the metal build particles. Inducing additional shaping after formation of a three-dimensional object is sometimes referred to as 4D printing or fabrication, and can be more easily carried out when forming objects from materials such as plastics, which can be formed and then thermally or chemically shaped. However, with fused metal objects such as those prepared as described herein, shaping after forming the three-dimensional shape is not as straightforward. Thus, the present compositions, kits, systems, methods, etc., described herein provide a way of introducing 4D printing or object fabrication to fused metal objects as they are heated up to fusing temperatures, for example.

[0027] The shaping composition 100 can include a metal shaping mixture of aluminum-containing particulates and secondary metal-containing particulates. In one example, the metal build particles can be copper-containing metal particles including from 50 wt% to 100 wt% elemental copper, e.g., brass, bronze, etc., or can include iron or an iron alloy, e.g., stainless steel. The shaping composition can, in some examples, include a liquid vehicle which is present at from about 10 wt% to about 80 wt% of the shaping composition, or from about 15 wt% to about 60 wt%, from about 20 wt% to about 50 wt%, or from about 25 wt% to about 50 wt% of the shaping composition. In further detail, the shaping composition can also include a shaping binder such as polymer binder, polymerizable binder and/or a reducible-metal compound binder.

[0028] In FIG. 3, the three-dimensional printing kit is shown with the particulate build material 200 and the binding agent 210 loaded in a 3D printing apparatus 300. In this example the shaping composition 100 is shown next to the 3D printing apparatus in preparation for applying to a green body object 220, once formed and removed from the build platform 302 and from within the particulate build material that is not used to form the green body object. In this example, the particulate build material can be deposited from a build material applicator 304 onto the build platform where it can be flattened or smoothed on a layer by layer basis, such as by a mechanical roller or other flattening technique. A layer of the particulate build material, which typically includes from mostly to all metal build particles, can be deposited and spread out evenly at the top surface. The layer of powder bed material can be from 25 pm to 400 pm, from 75 pm to 400 pm, from about 100 pm to about 400 pm, from about 150 pm to about 350 pm, or from about 200 pm to about 350 pm, for example. The binding agent can be used to generate the green body object on a layer-by-layer basis, for example. Individual layers of particulate build material and previously formed green body object layers are shown, but are not to scale. In this example, the binding agent may include water and a build binder, such as a reducible-metal compound, e.g., copper nitrate, or a polymeric or polymerizable binder, e.g., latex particle binder or polyurethane, for example, and can be ejected onto the particulate build material from a fluid ejector 310, for example, to provide for selectively pattering the particulate build material. The location of the selective printing of the binding agent can be to a layer corresponding to a layer of a 3D printed object, with information provided to print the respective layer provided by a 3D object model or computer model, for example. A building temperature (Tbuiid) or heat can be applied for building the green body object in some examples, e.g., from 50 °C to 200 °C, but other examples may not use heat when building the green body object. If heat is used, heat can be provided from a heat source 312, at the various layers (or group of layers, or after the green body object is formed) to (i) facilitate the build binder curing process, and/or (ii) remove solvent from the binding agent, which can assist with more rapid solidification of individual layers. Removing solvent from the binding agent can also reduce the wicking period of the binding agent outside of the printed object boundary and allow for a more precise printed green part. In one example, heat can be applied from overhead, e.g., prior to application of the next layer of particulate build material, or after multiple layers are formed, etc., and/or can be provided by the build platform from beneath the particulate build material and/or from the particulate build material source (preheating particulate build material prior to dispensing on the build platform or previously applied 3D object layer). As metal can be very good conductors of heat, when applying heat from below, care can be taken to heat to levels that do not decompose the build binder, in some examples. After individual layers are printed with binding agent, the build platform can be dropped a distance corresponding to a thickness of the applied layer of particulate build material, e.g., about 50 pm to about 200 pm, so that another layer of the particulate build material can be added thereon and printed with the binding agent, etc. The process can be repeated on a layer by layer basis until a green body object is formed that is stable enough to move to an oven suitable for fusing, e.g., sintering, annealing, melting, or the like. In this example, in addition to the green body object formed, there are also green body object supports 222 that are also printed, which are used in this example for example purposes in testing the shaping characteristics of the green body object prepared in accordance with the present disclosure. Shaping and Fusing Green Body Objects

[0029] Green body objects, such as those prepared using three-dimensional printing or other additive manufacturing, can be heat-fused to form fused metallic objects. However, after forming the green body object, there is an opportunity for additional shaping to take place prior to heat-fusing the green body object into the fused metallic object. As used herein“green body object” (as a complete object mass, plurality of object layers, or even an individual layer) refers to additive components including unfused metal build particles and in some instances, a build binder held together in the form of a three-dimensional shape, but which has not yet been heat-fused, e.g., not heat sintered or annealed to fuse the metal build particles together. As a green body, the particulate build material can be (weakly) bound together by a binding agent.

Typically, a mechanical strength of the green body is such that the green body can be handled or extracted from a build platform to place in a fusing oven. It is to be

understood that any particulate build material that is not patterned with the binding agent is not considered to be part of the green body, even if the particulate build material is adjacent to or surrounds the green body. For example, unprinted particulate build material can act to support the green body while contained therein, but the particulate build material is not part of the green body unless the particulate build material is printed with binding agent, or some other fluid that is used to generate a solidified part prior to fusing, e.g., sintering, annealing, melting, etc. Furthermore, green body objects tend to be somewhat fragile with rigidity lower than the metal part that is to be ultimately formed upon heat-fusing the green body object. Once the green part or green body object is fused, the part or body object can be referred to as a brown object, or more simply herein, as a“fused metallic object.” The terms“fuse,”“fused,”“fusing,” or the like refer to metal build particles of a green body object that have become heat- joined at high temperatures, e.g., from about 500°C to about 3500 °C, from about 600 °C to about 3000 °C, from about 700 °C to about 2500 °C, or from about 800 °C to about 2000 °C, but more typically from about 600 °C to about 1500 °C to fuse the metal build particles together and to form a fused metallic object. In some examples, the

temperature can range from about 600 °C to about 1200 °C, from about 800 °C to about 1200 °C, or from about 750 °C to about 1500 °C. Thus, fusing refers to the joining of the material of adjacent particles of a particulate build material, such as by sintering, annealing, melting, or the like, and can include a complete fusing of adjacent particles into a common structure, e.g., melting together, or can include surface fusing where particles are not fully melted to a point of liquefaction, but which allow for individual particles of the particulate build material to become bound to one another, e.g., forming material bridges between particles at or near a point of contact.

[0030] Thus, fusing can include particles becoming melted together as a unitary solid mass, or can include surfaces of metal build particles becoming softened or melted to join together at particle interfaces. In either case, the metal build particles become joined and the fused metallic object can be handled and/or used as a rigid part or object without the fragility of the green body object. Sintering of metal build particles is one form of metal particle fusing. Annealing is another form of metal particle fusing. A third type of fusing includes melting metal build particles together to form a unitary mass. The terms“sinter,”“sintered,”“sintering,” or the like refer to the consolidation and physical bonding of the metal build particles together (after temporary binding using the binding agent) by solid state diffusion bonding, partial melting of metal build particles, or a combination of solid state diffusion bonding and partial melting. The term“anneal” refers to a heating and cooling sequence that controls the heating process, and the cooling process, e.g., slowing cooling in some instances, to remove internal stresses and/or toughen the fused metallic object (or“brown” part).

[0031 ] If fusing the metal build particles using sintering, the sintering temperature range can vary, depending on the material, but in one example, the sintering

temperature can range from about 10 to 20 °C below the melting temperature of the metal build particles of the particulate build material to about 60 °C or about 80 °C below the melting temperature of the metal build particles of the particulate build material (with time sintering or soaking, material purity, etc., being considered). A non limiting list of certain metal melting temperatures is provided in Table 1 , as follows:

Table 1

*Range of melting temperatures provided, dependent

on grade of stainless steel and other factors.

[0032] In further detail, the sintering temperature can also depend upon the particle size, metal purity, exact wt% ratio of metal content for alloys, and/or period of time that heating occurs, e.g., at a high temperature for a sufficient time to cause particle surfaces to become physically merged or composited together). For example, an acceptable sintering temperature range for stainless steel may be from about 1300 °C to about 1520 °C, depending on the grade of stainless steel used, considering elemental metal ratios, impurities, particle size, time of heat soak, etc. An example of a sintering temperature range for aluminum may be from about 580 °C to about 650 °C, and an example of a sintering temperature range for copper may be from about 1000 °C to about 1070 °C. In one example, a sintering temperature can be used during a heat soak period to sinter and/or otherwise fuse the metal build particles to form the fused metallic object. Heat soaking time frames for sintering can be from about 5 minutes to about 2 hours, from about 10 minutes to about an hour, or from about 15 minutes to about 45 minutes, for example.

[0033] Considering this, as shown in FIG. 4, a green body object 220, such as the green body object printed as described with respect to FIG. 3, is shown suspended above an oven floor 250 of a sintering or annealing oven. In FIG. 4, the green body object is supported by a pair of green body object supports 222. The supports are not evaluated in this example, but rather are to provide a suspended span for the green body object to compare green body object shaping that can occur using a shaping composition 100 applied to an upward-facing surface 224 of the green body object.

[0034] FIG. 5 illustrates an example green body object 220 resting on green body supports 222 and positioned on a floor 250 of a fusing oven or furnace. Two examples are shown to illustrate the effect of using the shaping composition 100 (shown in FIG. 4 prior to heating) during the fusing process. In one example, a first“shaped” metallic object 230 (which is typically first shaped or deformed at a shaping temperature, Tshape, and then heat-fused at a higher fusing temperature, Tf USe ) is illustrated as having been deformed (induced by the shaping composition and heat) in an upward direction due to adhesive and/or interactive forces, or alloying properties with the aluminum with other metals. These forces were great enough to counteract and exceed that of the natural gravitational pull that would have otherwise caused the green body object to sag when passing through the shaping temperature, Tshape, on the way to a fusing temperature, T fuse. Thus, FIG. 5 also shows an“unshaped” green body object 240 that actually sagged in the middle between the green body supports. In this and other examples, the shaping temperature can be from about 500 °C to about 1000 °C, and the fusing temperature can be from about greater than 500 °C to about 3500 °C, or any other temperature range that functions as described including the sub-ranges of temperatures described herein. As a note, after heating, the shaping composition can become an intermetallic reaction product 100A that is no longer a slurry due to evaporation of the liquid during application of heat. Thus, the residual material from the coating can form a soft metallic powder that can be brushed from the surface of the fused metallic object, with the liquid having been evaporated therefrom during heating.

[0035] FIG. 6 illustrates an example green body object 220 resting on green body supports 222 which are placed on a floor 250 of a fusing oven or furnace. A shaping composition 100 is shown as applied to a downward-facing surface 226 of the green body object. Upon heating the object, the“shaped” metallic object 230 (which is typically first shaped or deformed at a shaping temperature, Tshape, and then heat-fused at a higher fusing temperature, Tf USe ) is illustrated as having been deformed (induced by the shaping composition and heat) to form a half-ring shape, which begins to take shape and becomes shaped within a shaping temperature range, Tshape, and then becomes fused or sintered at about a fusing temperature, Tf US e.

[0036] FIG. 7 illustrates an example green body object 220 that may be placed on a flat surface of a fusing oven or furnace (not shown) without supports, e.g., a quartz flat surface. A shaping composition 100 is shown as applied to an upward-facing surface 224 of the green body object. This particular green object plate is shown as coated with a shaping composition applied in two perpendicular directions, namely corner to corner in the shape of an X. Upon heating the object, the“shaped” metallic object 230 (which is typically first shaped or deformed at a shaping temperature, Tshape, and then heat-fused at a higher fusing temperature, Tf USe ) is illustrated as having been deformed (induced by the shaping composition and heat) to form a fused metallic object with a multi-dimensional curvature in the X-Z direction as well as the Y-Z direction. The green body object, even though resting on a flat surface, can be reshaped or induced to deform in an upward direction based on positioning of the shaping composition. After fusing, the shaping composition often forms a black residue that is powdery and can be easily wiped or brushed away.

[0037] FIG. 8 illustrates an example green body leaf-shaped object 220 that may be placed on a flat surface of a fusing oven or furnace (not shown) without supports, e.g., a quartz flat surface. A shaping composition 100 is shown as applied to an upward- facing surface 224 of the green body object, as well as a downward facing surface 226 of the green body object. The green body leaf-shaped object with shaping composition applied thereto is shown in top plan view at (A), in cross-section view along X-X at (B), and in cross-section view along Y-Y at (C). Upon deformation, a multi-dimensional curvature can be induced by the shaping composition coated on the green body leaf shaped object, as shown in cross-section at (D) and (E), as well as in perspective at (F). In this example, even when the green body object is initially resting on a flat surface, the object may exhibit a significant amount of desired deformation or shaping towards the coating side of the object, becoming more solidified and hardened upon sintering or otherwise fusing. As mentioned, typically a fused metallic part is difficult to form in this convex shape without the use of spacers or supports during heat-fusion processes. In this example, after fusing, the shaping composition forms a black residue that is powdery and can be easily wiped away. Methods of Shaping and Heat-fusing Green Body Objects

[0038] In examples if the present disclosure, a method 400 of shaping and heat fusing a green body object is shown in FIG. 9 in a flow diagram. Such a method can include applying 410 a coating of shaping composition to a surface of the green body object. The green body object can include metal build particles having a D50 particle size distribution value from about 1 pm to about 150 pm, and the shaping composition can include a metal shaping mixture of first metal-containing particulates and a secondary metal-containing particulates. The method can also include introducing 420 a shaping composition-induced deformation to the green body object by heating the green body object with the coating thereon to a shaping temperature to generate an interaction at a surface of the green body object between the first metal-containing particulates and the secondary metal-containing particulates, the first metal-containing-particulates and the metal build particles, or the first metal-containing particulates and the secondary metal- containing particulates and the metal build particles. In further detail, the method can include heating 430 the green body object further to a fusing temperature sufficient to fuse the metal build particles together and form a fused metallic object that includes a fused deformation corresponding with the shaping composition-induced deformation. In one example, the method can include a preliminary step of forming the green body object by iteratively applying individual build material layers of a particulate build material including the metal build particles, and based on the 3D object model, selectively applying a binding agent to individual build material layers to define individually patterned layers that are built up and bound together to form the green body object.

Binder

[0039] There are two compositions described herein that can utilize a binder in accordance with the present disclosure. There can be, for example, a binding agent used for additive three-dimensional printing processes as shown in FIG. 3. The binding agent can include a liquid vehicle and a build binder. There can also be a shaping binder included in the shaping compositions described herein. With the binding agent, the build binder can be carried by a liquid vehicle for jetting from jetting architecture, for example. The build binder can be present in the binding agent at from about 1 wt% to about 30 wt%, for example. With shaping composition, the shaping binder can be co-dispersed with a metal shaping mixture (of aluminum and a secondary metal, or alloys thereof), and may also include a liquid vehicle to form a slurry, for example. The shaping binder can be present in the shaping composition at from about 2 wt% to about 30 wt%, or at the other weight ranges previously described, for example. Thus, the description of the “binder” (or binder compound) herein is relevant to both build binder found in binding agents as well as shaping binder found in shaping compositions. When describing “binder,” it is understood to include a description of both types of binder.

[0040] Regarding the binders, any of a number of binders can be used, including metal binders or polymeric binders. In other words, the term“binder” or“binder compound” can include any material used to physically bind metal build particles together either initially, but often for a period of time during heating in a fusing oven or furnace. With specific reference to metal binder, the metal can be in the form of a reducible-metal compound binder. To illustrate, if stainless steel is used as metal build particles in the particulate build material, or as the secondary metal alloy in the shaping composition, the reducible-metal compound binder may be an iron oxide or salt, a chromium oxide or salt, or a copper oxide, for example. The reducible-metal compound binder can be reduced by hydrogen released from a thermally activated reducing agent in some examples. More general examples of reducible-metal compound binders can include metal oxides (from one or multiple oxidation state), such as a copper oxide, e.g., copper I oxide or copper II oxide; an iron oxide, e.g. , iron(ll) oxide or iron(lll) oxide; an aluminum oxide, a chromium oxide, e.g., chromium(IV) oxide; titanium oxide, a silver oxide, zinc oxide, etc. As a note, due to variable oxidation states of transition metals, they can form various oxides in different oxidation states, e.g., transition metals can form oxides of different oxidation states. Other examples can include organic or inorganic metal salts. In particular, inorganic metal salts that can be used include metal bromides, metal chlorides, metal nitrates, metal sulfates, metal nitrites, metal

carbonates, or a combination thereof. Organic metal salts can include chromic acid, chrome sulfate, cobalt sulfate, potassium gold cyanide, potassium silver cyanide, copper cyanide, copper sulfate, nickel carbonate, nickel chloride, nickel fluoride, nickel nitrate, nickel sulfate, potassium hexahydroxy stannate, sodium hexahydroxy stannate, silver cyanide, silver ethansulfonate, silver nitrate, sodium zincate, stannous chloride (or tin(ll) chloride), stannous sulfate (or tin(ll) sulfate, zinc chloride, zinc cyanide, tin methansulfonate, for example. In some instances, the reducible-metal compound binder can be in the form of a nanoparticle, and in other instances, the reducible-metal compound binder can be disassociated or dissolved in the aqueous liquid vehicle, e.g., copper nitrate or copper chloride. As particles, the reducible-metal compound binder can have a D50 particle size from about 10 nm to about 10 pm, from about 10 nm to about 5 pm, from about 10 nm to about 1 pm, from about 15 nm to about 750 nm, or from about 20 nm to about 400 nm.

[0041 ] Metal binder can be reducible as a result of introduced atmosphere with a reducing agent, and/or can be thermally activated, for example. Thermally activated reducing agents that can be used may be sensitive to elevated temperatures. Example thermally activated reducing agents can include hydrogen (Fh), lithium aluminum hydride, sodium borohydride, a borane (e.g., diborane, catecholborane, etc.) sodium hydrosulfite, hydrazine, a hindered amine, 2-pyrrolidone, ascorbic acid, a reducing sugar (e.g., a monosaccharide), diisobutylaluminium hydride, formic acid, formaldehyde, or mixtures thereof. The choice of reducing agent can be such that it is thermally activated at a temperature, or can be introduced at a temperature where reduction of the metal binder may be desired. By way of example, if considering using a metal oxide nanoparticle as the reducible-metal compound binder, there may be metal oxides that are stable (or relatively unreactive) at room temperature, but upon application of heat, e.g., about 200 °C to about 1000 °C or from about 250 °C to about 1000 °C or from 300 °C to 700 °C, a redox-reaction can result in the production of the pure metal or metal alloy. As an example, mercury oxide or silver oxide can be reduced to their respective elemental metal by heating to about 300 °C, but the presence of a reducing agent may allow the reaction to occur at a lower temperature, e.g., about 180 °C to about 200 °C. Oxides of more reactive metals like zinc, iron, copper, nickel, tin, or lead may likewise be reduced simply in the presence of a reducing agent, so the reducing agent can be introduced into the fusing oven or furnace at a time where binding properties may be beneficial. Reducing agents, whether thermally activated or reactive without added temperature, can be capable of providing hydrogen moieties completing the redox- reaction at elevated temperatures in accordance with examples of the present disclosure. An example of one reaction is shown in Formula 1 , as follows: reduction

[0042] In other examples, the binder or binder compound can be a polymeric binder, such as latex particles, for example. The polymer binder or polymerizable binder can be a polymer that can have different morphologies. In one example, the polymer binder or polymerizable binder can include a uniform composition, e.g. a single monomer mixture, or can include two different compositions, e.g. multiple monomer compositions, copolymer compositions, or a combination thereof, which may be fully separated core-shell polymers, partially occluded mixtures, or intimately comingled as a polymer solution. In another example, the polymer binder or polymerizable binder can be individual spherical particles containing polymer compositions of hydrophilic (hard) component(s) and/or hydrophobic (soft) component(s). For example, a core-shell polymer can include a more hydrophilic shell with a more hydrophic core or a more hydropobic shell with a more hydrophillic core. With respect to“more hydrophiliic” and “more hydrophobic” the term more is a relative term that indicates a hydrophillic or hydrophobic property when considering the core composition and the shell composition in respect to one another.

[0043] In some examples, the polymer binder or polymerizable binder can include latex particles. The latex particles can include 2, 3, or 4 or more relatively large polymer particles that can be attached to one another or can surround a smaller polymer core. In a further example, the latex particles can have a single phase morphology that can be partially occluded, can be multiple-lobed, or can include any combination of any of the morphologies disclosed herein. In some examples, the latex particles can be produced by emulsion polymerization. The latex particles in the binding agent can include polymerized monomers of vinyl, vinyl chloride, vinylidene chloride, vinyl ester, functional vinyl monomers, acrylate, acrylic, acrylic acid, hydroxyethyl acrylate, methacrylate, methacrylic acid, styrene, substituted methyl styrenes, ethylene, maleate esters, fumarate esters, itaconate esters, a-methyl styrene, p-methyl styrene, methyl

(meth)acrylate, hexyl acrylate, hexyl (meth)acrylate, butyl acrylate, butyl (meth)acrylate, ethyl acrylate, ethyl (meth)acrylate, propyl acrylate, propyl (meth)acrylate, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, 2-ethylhexyl (meth)acrylate, isodecyl (meth) acrylate, octadecyl acrylate, octadecyl (meth)acrylate, stearyl (meth)acrylate, vinylbenzyl chloride, isobornyl acrylate, isobornyl (meth)acrylate, tetrahydrofurfuryl acrylate, tetrahydrofurfuryl (meth)acrylate, 2- phenoxyethyl (meth)acrylate, benzyl (meth)acrylate, benzyl acrylate, ethoxylated nonyl phenol (meth)acrylate, isobornyl (meth)acrylate, cyclohexyl (meth)acrylate, trimethyl cyclohexyl (meth)acrylate, t-butyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, lauryl

(meth)acrylate, tridecyl (meth)acrylate, alkoxylated tetrahydrofurfuryl acrylate, alkoxylated tetrahydrofurfuryl (meth)acrylate, isodecyl acrylate, isobornyl methacrylate, isobornyl acrylate, dimethyl maleate, dioctyl maleate, acetoacetoxyethyl (meth)acrylate, diacetone acrylamide, diacetone (meth)acrylamide, N-vinyl imidazole, N-vinylcarbazole, N-vinyl-caprolactam, combinations thereof, derivatives thereof, or mixtures thereof. These monomers include low glass transition temperature (Tg) monomers that can be used to form the hydrophobic component of a heteropolymer.

[0044] In other examples, the latex particles can include acidic monomers that can be used to form the hydrophilic component of a heteropolymer. Example acidic monomers that can polymerized in forming the latex particles can include acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, ethacrylic acid, dimethylacrylic acid, maleic anhydride, maleic acid, vinylsulfonate, cyanoacrylic acid, vinylacetic acid, allylacetic acid, ethylidineacetic acid, propylidineacetic acid, crotonoic acid, fumaric acid, itaconic acid, sorbic acid, angelic acid, cinnamic acid, styrylacrylic acid, citraconic acid, glutaconic acid, aconitic acid, phenylacrylic acid, acryloxypropionic acid, aconitic acid, phenylacrylic acid,

acryloxypropionic acid, vinylbenzoic acid, N-vinylsuccinamidic acid, mesaconic acid, methacroylalanine, acryloylhydroxyglycine, sulfoethyl methacrylic acid, sulfopropyl acrylic acid, styrene sulfonic acid, sulfoethylacrylic acid, 2-methacryloyloxymethane-1 - sulfonic acid, 3-methacryoyloxypropane-1 -sulfonic acid, 3-(vinyloxy)propane-1 -sulfonic acid, ethylenesulfonic acid, vinyl sulfuric acid, 4-vinylphenyl sulfuric acid, ethylene phosphonic acid, vinyl phosphoric acid, vinyl benzoic acid, 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1 - propanesulfonic acid, sodium 1 -allyloxy-2-hydroxypropane sulfonate, combinations thereof, derivatives thereof, or mixtures thereof. In some examples, the acidic monomer content can range from about 0.1 wt% to about 15 wt%, from about 0.5 wt% to about 12 wt%, or from about 1 wt% to about 10 wt% of the latex particles with the remainder of the latex particle being composed of non-acidic monomers. In some examples the acid monomer can be concentrated towards an outer surface of a latex particle.

[0045] The latex particles can have various molecular weights, sizes, glass transition temperatures, etc. In one example, the polymer in the latex particles can have a weight average molecular weight ranging from about 10,000 Mw to about 500,000 Mw, from about 100,000 Mw to about 500,000 Mw, or from about 150,000 Mw to about 300,000 Mw. The latex particles can have a particle size that can be jetted via thermal ejection or printing, piezoelectric ejection or printing, drop-on-demand ejection or printing, continuous ejection or printing, etc. In an example, the particle size of particles of the polymer binder or polymerizable binder can range from about 10 nm to about 400 nm. In yet other examples, a particle size of polymer binder or polymerizable binder can range from about 10 nm to about 300 nm, from about 50 nm to about 250 nm, from about 100 nm to about 300 nm, or from about 25 nm to about 250 nm. In some examples, the latex particle can have a glass transition temperature that can range from about -20 °C to about 130 °C, from about 60 °C to about 105 °C, or from about 10 °C to about 110 °C.

Liquid Vehicles

[0046] Liquid vehicles described herein can refer to the liquid vehicle used for the jettable binding agent of the liquid component of the liquid used in the shaping composition. As an initial matter, the shaping composition can be a liquid vehicle of water. In other examples, there can be other components along with the water, such as organic co-solvent, surfactant, biocide, etc. The liquid vehicle in the shaping

composition can be included at from about 10 wt% to about 80 wt%, from about 15 wt% to about 60 wt%, from about 20 wt% to about 50 wt%, or from about 25 wt% to about 50 wt% of the shaping composition, for example. Other percentages of the liquid vehicle, such as water or water and other liquid components, can be used, depending on how the shaping composition is to be applied, e.g., dipping, spraying, etc., and may include more liquid vehicle, whereas spreading of a more viscous composition may include less liquid vehicle component. In further detail, many of the components described below with respect to the binding agent can likewise be used in formulating the liquid vehicle of the shaping composition, and those components are incorporated herein by reference.

[0047] Regarding the jettable binding agent, there can be some care taken with respect to formulating a binding agent that is jettable, particularly if it is to be thermally jettable. In this example, the binding agent can include a build binder dispersed in an aqueous vehicle, such as a vehicle including water as a major solvent, e.g., the solvent present at the highest concentration compared to other co-solvents. Apart from water, the aqueous vehicle can include organic co-solvent(s), such as high-boiling solvents and/or humectants, e.g., aliphatic alcohols, aromatic alcohols, alkyl diols, glycol ethers, polyglycol ethers, 2-pyrrolidinones, caprolactams, formamides, acetamides, and long chain alcohols. Some other more specific example organic co-solvents that can be included in the binding agent can include aliphatic alcohols, 1 ,2-alcohols, 1 ,3-alcohols, 1 ,5-alcohols, ethylene glycol alkyl ethers, propylene glycol alkyl ethers, higher homologs (C6-C12) of polyethylene glycol alkyl ethers, N-alkyl caprolactams, unsubstituted caprolactams, substituted formamides, unsubstituted formamides, substituted

acetamides, unsubstituted acetamides, and combinations thereof. Some water-soluble high-boiling solvents can act as coalescing aids for latex particles. Example water- soluble high-boiling solvents can include propyleneglycol ethers, dipropyleneglycol monomethyl ether, dipropyleneglycol monopropyl ether, dipropyleneglycol monobutyl ether, tripropyleneglycol monomethyl ether, tripropyleneglycol monobutyl ether, dipropyleneglycol monophenyl ether, 2-pyrrolidinone and 2-methyl-1 ,3-propanediol. The organic co-solvent(s) in aggregate can include from 0 wt% to about 50 wt% of the binding agent. In some examples, co-solvents can be present at from about 5 wt% to about 25 wt%, from about 2 wt% to about 20 wt%, or from about 10 wt% to about 30 wt% of the binding agent. In some examples, the binding agent can further include from about 0.1 wt% to about 50 wt% of other liquid vehicle components. These liquid vehicle components can include other organic co-solvents, additives that inhibit growth of harmful microorganisms, viscosity modifiers, pH adjusters, sequestering agents, surfactants, preservatives, etc. Regardless of the formulation, the aqueous vehicle can be present in the binding agent at from about 20 wt% to about 98 wt%, from about 70 wt% to about 98 wt%, from about 50 wt% to about 90 wt%, or from about 25 wt% to about 75 wt. [0048] Some example liquid vehicle components that can inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms that can be present can include biocides, fungicides, and other microbial agents, which are routinely used in ink formulations. Commercially available examples can include ACTICIDE® (Thor GmbH), NUOSEPT® (Troy, Corp.),

UCARCIDE™ (Dow), VANCIDE® (R.T. Vanderbilt Co.), PROXEL® (Arch Biocides), and combinations thereof.

Particulate Build Material and Metal Build Particles

[0049] The particulate build material can include metal build particles of any type that can be fused together at a fusing temperature (above the temperature at which the green body is formed). Fusing can be carried out by sintering, annealing, melting, or the like, metal build particles together within the particulate build material. In one example, the particulate build material can include from about 80 wt% to 100 wt% metal build particles based on a total weight of the particulate build material.

[0050] In an example, the metal build particles can be a single phase metallic material composed of one element. In this example, the fusing, e.g., sintering, annealing, etc., can occur at a temperature below the melting point of the element of the single phase metallic material. In other examples, the build material particles can be composed of two or more elements, which can be in the form of a single phase metallic alloy, e.g. the various particles can be alloys, or a multiple phase metallic alloy, e.g. different particles can include different metals, in the form of composites, e.g., core-shell metal build particles. In these examples, fusing generally can occur over a range of temperatures. With respect to alloys, materials with a metal alloyed to a non-metal (such as a metal-metalloid alloy) can be used as well. In some examples, the metal build particles can include particles of elemental metals or alloys of copper, titanium, cobalt, chromium, nickel, vanadium, tungsten, tantalum, molybdenum, iron, stainless steel, steel, or an admixture thereof. In one example, the metal build particles can be copper or a copper alloy, for example.

[0051 ] The D50 particle size of the metal build particles can range from about 1 pm to about 150 pm. In some examples, the particles can have a D50 particle size distribution value that can range from about 10 pm to about 100 pm, from about 20 pm to about 150 pm, from about 15 pm to about 90 pm, or from about 50 pm to about 150 pm. Individual particle sizes can be outside of these ranges, as the“D50 particle size” is defined as the particle size at which half of the particles are larger than the D50 particle size and about half of the other particles are smaller than the D50 particle size (by weight based on the metal particle content of the particulate build material).

[0052] As used herein, particle size can refer to a value of the diameter of spherical particles or in particles that are not spherical can refer to a longest dimension of that particle. The particle size can be presented as a Gaussian distribution or a Gaussian-like distribution (or normal or normal-like distribution). Gaussian-like distributions are distribution curves that can appear Gaussian in their distribution curve shape, but which can be slightly skewed in one direction or the other (toward the smaller end or toward the larger end of the particle size distribution range). That being stated, an example Gaussian-like distribution of the metal build particles can be characterized generally using“D10,”“D50,” and“D90” particle size distribution values, where D10 refers to the particle size at the 10 th percentile, D50 refers to the particle size at the 50 th percentile, and D90 refers to the particle size at the 90 th percentile. For example, a D50 value of 25 pm means that 50% of the particles (by number) have a particle size greater than 25 pm and 50% of the particles have a particle size less than 25 pm. Particle size distribution values may not be related to Gaussian distribution curves, but in one example of the present disclosure, the metal build particles can have a Gaussian distribution, or more typically a Gaussian-like distribution with offset peaks at about D50. In practice, true Gaussian distributions are not typically present, as some skewing can be present, but still, the Gaussian-like distribution can be considered to be “Gaussian” as used in practice. The shape of the particles of the particulate build material can be spherical, non-spherical, random shapes, or a combination thereof.

Definitions

[0053] It is noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

[0054] The term "about" as used herein, when referring to a numerical value or range, allows for a degree of variability in the value or range, for example, within 10%, or, in one aspect within 5%, of a stated value or of a stated limit of a range. The term “about” when modifying a numerical range is also understood to include as one numerical subrange a range defined by the exact numerical value indicated, e.g., the range of about 1 wt% to about 5 wt% includes 1 wt% to 5 wt% as an explicitly supported sub-range.

[0055] As used herein,“kit” can be synonymous with and understood to include a plurality of compositions including multiple components where the different

compositions can be separately contained in the same or multiple containers prior to and during use, e.g., building a 3D object, but these components can be combined together during a build and/or shaping process. The containers can be any type of a vessel, box, or receptacle made of any material. Alternatively, a kit may be generated during the process of 3D building a portion at a time. For example, the particulate build material can be decontaminated a layer at a time to form a“kit” of a decontaminated (portion) or a particulate build material that, when combined with the binding agent to be ejected thereon, completes the kit, e.g., a layer of decontaminated build material formed on a build platform or support bed is considered to be a kit when combined with a binding agent loaded in a three-dimensional printing system for ejection thereon.

[0056] As used herein, a plurality of items, structural elements, compositional elements, and/or materials may be presented in a common list for convenience.

However, these lists should be construed as though the individual member of the list is identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same list based on their presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary.

[0057] Concentrations, dimensions, amounts, and other numerical data may be presented herein in a range format. It is to be understood that such range format is used merely for convenience and brevity and should be interpreted flexibly to include the numerical values explicitly recited as the limits of the range, as well as to include all the individual numerical values or sub-ranges encompassed within that range as the individual numerical value and/or sub-range is explicitly recited. For example, a weight ratio range of about 1 wt% to about 20 wt% should be interpreted to include the explicitly recited limits of 1 wt% and 20 wt% and to include individual weights such as about 2 wt%, about 11 wt%, about 14 wt%, and sub-ranges such as about 10 wt% to about 20 wt%, about 5 wt% to about 15 wt%, etc. EXAMPLES

[0058] The following illustrates an example of the present disclosure. However, it is to be understood that the following is illustrative of the application of the principles of the present disclosure. Numerous modifications and alternative compositions, methods, and systems may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. The appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements.

Example 1 - Green Body Object Sample Preparation

[0059] Multiple green body objects of various shapes are prepared using a three- dimensional printing process similar to that shown in FIG. 3. Shapes prepared include elongated bars, square and five-sided plates, disks, gears, leaf shape, etc. Thickness is kept relatively thin to evaluate shaping composition-induced deformations based on materials, application thickness, application locations, etc. Sizes along the X-axis and Y- axis are typically less than about two or three inches, e.g., 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches or about 40 mm to about 80 mm, and thickness along the Z-axis is typically from about 1/8 to about 1/4 inch, e.g., about 3 mm to about 6 mm), for example.

[0060] The various green body objects formed are prepared using elemental copper particles having a purity of about 99 wt% and a D50 particle size of about 50 pm. The binding agent used to form the green body object is ejected from a thermal jetting apparatus, and the build binder in the binding agent is a copper nitrate compound. The green body object is cured in a layer-by-layer manner using a temperature, Tbuiid, of about 120 to about 160 °C. Once the green body object is printed, the object is heat soaked at an elevated temperature at about 70 °C to about 100 °C for about 60 minutes to about 180 minutes.

Example 2 - Preparation of Shaping Composition with Polymer Shaping Binder

[0061 ] A shaping composition is prepared that includes about 75 wt% of a reactive exothermic metal shaping mixture of stainless steel 316 powder (as the Fe source) and aluminum-silicon alloy (as the aluminum source), about 25 wt% of a latex dispersion that includes a latex shaping binder particle content to provide about 5 wt% latex shaping binder particle content, e.g. 20 wt% latex binder particle in the latex dispersion, based on a total weight of the shaping composition. The shaping

composition is thus in the form of a thickened slurry. Notably, other levels of shaping binder content and/or metal shaping mixture can be used that may also be sufficient to generate a slurry.

Example 3 - Preparation of Shaping Composition with Reducible-Metal Compound

Shaping Binder and Reaction Rate Dampening Compound

[0062] A shaping composition is prepared that includes about 65 wt% of a reactive exothermic metal shaping mixture of stainless steel 316 powder (as the Fe source) and aluminum-silicon alloy (as the aluminum source), about 5 wt% copper nitrate shaping binder, about 10 wt% of aluminum oxide (AI2O3), and about 20 wt% water, based on a total weight of the shaping composition. The metal shaping mixture is prepared to provide about a 1 : 1 atomic ratio of iron content from the stainless steel to the aluminum content from the aluminum-silicon alloy. The aluminum oxide is not considered in this 1 :1 ratio of iron to aluminum, as it acts to control the reaction kinetics rather than participate in the exothermic reaction between the iron and the aluminum. Though the aluminum oxide is added to dampen or control the reaction rate upon application of heat, e.g., slowing the reaction, the slurry can be prepared and used without the aluminum oxide. Likewise, in some examples, the shaping binder can be omitted if the shaping composition can be coated on the green body object and stay in place sufficiently to cause shaping while the temperature is ramping up through shaping temperatures, Tshape, up to a fusing temperature, Tf USe , for the metal build particles that may be used. Furthermore, the shaping composition is in the form of a viscous slurry that is self-supporting when applied and capable of adhering to the green body object surface in any orientation (upward-facing, downward-facing, side-facing, etc.). Notably, other levels of liquid vehicle (or water), shaping binder content in the metal shaping mixture, and/or aluminum oxide, etc., can be used that may also be sufficient to generate a slurry as well.

Example 4 - Protocol for Shaping and Fusing Green Body Objects

[0063] The various green body object shapes prepared herein underwent heat fusing, and many of the green body objects were coated with a shaping composition, such as shaping composition of Example 2 or 3. Coating thickness for the shaping composition as applied to a surface of the green body object can be from about one- quarter as thick as the green body object of the examples to up to about three times the thickness of the green body object. In the examples herein, once the shaping

composition is applied, it is baked at from about 70 °C to about 100 °C to dry the shaping composition coating prior to shaping and fusing in a furnace or fusing oven.

[0064] The heating profile used in this example can be any heating profile that generates fusing temperatures while ramping the temperature up through the shaping temperature at an appropriate level to cause desired shaping. Other factors such as reaction speed can be considered, and materials and/or heating profiles can be used to design a shaping and fusing system appropriate for the specific green body object that is to be shaped and fused. In this example, and other examples herein, a tubular furnace is used with parts placed on a flat alumina crucible or quartz plate during sintering. One of two heating protocols is selected for use, but either profile would generate similar results for the green body objects evaluated herein. As a note,“Heating Profile 1” (below) provides a slower and gentler ramp-up of temperature and in some instances can help minimizing the sagging effects during sintering. However,“Heating Protocol 2” (below) can be suitable in many instances as well. Two example heating profiles are provided, as follows:

Heating Protocol 1 - Heating at 5 °C/minute from room temperature to 170 °C -> Heating at 2.5 °C/minute from 170 °C to 300 °C -> heat soak at 300 °C for 1 hour -> Heating at 2.5 °C/minute from 300 °C to 500 °C -> heat soak at 500 °C for 2 hours -> Heat at 2.5 °C/minute from 500 °C to 650 °C -> heat soak at 650 °C for 1 hour -> Heat at 2.5 °C/minute to 1000 °C -> heat soak at 1000 °C for 30 minutes -> Cool in furnace to room temperature.

Heating Protocol 2 - Heating at 5 °C/minute from room temperature to 500 °C -> heat soak at 500 °C for 2 hours -> Heat at 5 °C/minute from 500 °C to 650 °C -> heat soak at 650 °C for 1 hour -> Heat at 5 °C/minute to 1000 °C -> heat soak at 1000 °C for 30 minutes -> Cool in furnace to room temperature.

[0065] The term“heat soak” above refers to hold times where shaping and/or fusing may be occurring while the fusing oven (furnace) is holding at a constant elevated temperature.

[0066] In these examples, the exothermic mixture is designed to generate an exothermic reactive shaping composition to achieve FeAI + FeAh during shaping and fusing; however, other intermetallic products between Fe and Al can form as well. One aspect of using an iron and aluminum system for the metal shaping mixture within the shaping composition is that their reaction with one another can start to occur at low temperatures, e.g., 300°C, and are strongly exothermic in nature. Thus, the evolved heat can further sustain reaction propagation. Furthermore, the reaction between iron and aluminum can progress in ambient air (albeit heated within the fusing oven), in an inert gas, at ambient pressures, or in a vacuum. Therefore, fusing oven atmosphere is not particularly relevant to the exothermic reaction. In this example, however, it is noted that the reducing gas is introduced not for contributing to the exothermic reaction of the metal shaping mixture, but rather for the reducible-metal compound binder that is used, whether it be from the shaping binder from the shaping compound and/or the build binder of the green body object.

Example 5 - Shaping and Fusing Green Body Object Elongated Bar 1

[0067] Two green body objects are prepared similar to that shown in FIG. 5 using the materials and procedures described in Example 1. The pair of green body objects are in the shape of elongated bars having an X-axis length of 40 mm, a Y-axis width of 5 mm, and a Z-axis thickness of 3.2 mm. The elongated bars are supported on opposite sides using a pair of 5 mm x 5 mm supports that are also elongated (positioned perpendicular to the elongated green body object bars). The supports are enough to support two elongated bar samples at the same time and providing about 6-8 mm of distance between the two elongated bar samples.

[0068] In preparation heating, one of the two green body object elongated bars is coated with about a 3 mm to 5 mm thick shaping composition slurry prepared in accordance with Example 3. The second elongated bar is not coated. The two samples are then placed in a fusing oven and the temperature ramped up through a shaping temperature, Tshape, to a fusing temperature, Tf US e. At about 500 °C (about the beginning of the T shape temperature range for this green body object, though shaping may start even at a lower temperature), a reducing gas of N2/H2 (or Ar/Fh can be used) is introduced to reduce copper compounds that may be present, including compounds initially introduced and/or produced in situ, e.g., copper oxide

[0069] As shown in FIG. 5, which is an illustration recreating a side view of the two green body objects as well as the fused metallic objects formed therefrom, the shaping composition had an impact on the shape of the fused metallic object that is formed. For example, the fused metallic object formed with the shaping composition applied to a top surface thereof (such as that shown in FIG. 4) had an upward bow, bowing or bending in the direction of the surface coated with the shaping composition. During heating, the shaping composition had thus formed a Fe-AI intermetallic reaction product, and in the process, exothermic heat caused faster sintering at the surface of the green body object to which it is coated. This is verified by conducting multiple similar experiments where parts are stopped short (with respect to temperature increase or ramp up) of fusing at different shaping temperatures, Tshape, to view the effect of the green body object prior to fusing. After cooling, the Fe-AI intermetallic reaction product that remained on the fused metallic object product became porous black powder (shown in FIG. 5 at 100A) that is easily brushed from the surface. At the same time, under the same heating conditions in the same furnace at the same time, the green body object that is not coated with the shaping composition is susceptible to gravitational sag, as also shown in FIG. 5. The amount of sag is as shown in this FIG., but as a note, the amount of sag can be a result of many factors, such as green body object thickness, overhang cantilevered distance of span between two support structures, amount of material and/or thickness of overhang or span, orientation, temperature profile including temperatures used and/or temperature ramp-up speed, etc.

Example 6 - Shaping and Fusing Green Body Object Elongated Bar 2

[0070] A green body object is prepared similar to that shown in FIG. 5 using the materials and procedures described in Example 1. The green body object is in the shape of elongated bars having an X-axis length of 40 mm, a Y-axis width of 5 mm, and a Z-axis thickness of 3.2 mm. The elongated bar is supported on opposite ends using a pair of 5 mm x 5 mm supports. In preparation heating, the green body object is coated with about a 2 mm thick shaping composition coating on a bottom surface thereof (downward-facing surface) prepared in accordance with Example 3. At about 500 °C (about the beginning of the Ts h ape temperature range for this green body object, though shaping may start even at a lower temperature), a reducing gas of N2/H2 is introduced to reduce copper compounds from the copper nitrate binder and/or copper compounds that may have been introduced in situ, e.g., copper oxide. The other shaping and sintering protocols are as described in Example 5.

[0071 ] As shown in FIG. 6, which is an illustration recreating a side view of the green body object as well as the fused metallic object formed therefrom, the three- dimensionally printed bar coated with the shaping composition of Example 3 on a bottom surface of the green body conformed to a half-ring shape, which is confirmed to have occurred during shaping temperatures, Tshape, and then became fused or sintered at about a fusing temperature, Tf USe , e.g., heat soaked at about 1000 °C for 30 minutes for this particular material and object configuration.

Example 7 - Shaping and Fusing Green Body Object Flat Square Plate

[0072] A green body object in the shape of a flat square plate is prepared similar to that shown in FIG. 5 using the materials and procedures described in Example 1 . The green body plate had an X-axis length of 38 mm, a Y-axis width of 38 mm, and a Z-axis thickness of about 1 .5 mm. The green object plate is coated with a shaping composition applied in two perpendicular directions, corner to corner, in the shape of an X, and is placed flat on a quartz substrate within a fusing oven or furnace. At about 500 °C (about the beginning of the Ts h ape temperature range for this green body object, though shaping may start even at a lower temperature), a reducing gas of N2/H2 is introduced to reduce copper compounds from the copper nitrate binder and/or copper compounds that may have been generated in situ, e.g., copper oxide. The other shaping and sintering protocols are as described in Example 5.

[0073] With this example, it is found that a flat green body object could be induced to generate a multi-dimensional curve in the X-Z direction as well as the Y-Z direction, as shown in FIG. 7. The green body object, even though resting on a flat surface, exhibited a significant amount of desired deformation/shaping towards the coating side of the object, becoming solidified/hardened upon sintering, heat soaking at about 1000 °C for about 30 minutes as outlined in the Heating Protocols of Example 4. Typically, a fused metallic part is difficult to form in this convex shape without the use of spacers or supports during heat-fusion processes. Again, in this example, after sintering, the shaping composition forms a black residue that is powdery and can be easily wiped away.

Example 8 - Shaping and Fusing Green Body Object Flat Square Plate

[0074] A green body object in the shape of a printed leaf is prepared similar to that shown in FIG. 5, and more analogously in FIG. 7, using the materials and procedures described in Example 1. The green body leaf-shaped object had an X-axis length of 38 mm, a Y-axis width of 42 mm, and a Z-axis thickness of about 1.5 mm. The green object leaf is coated with a shaping composition applied in areas where curvature is desired. In this example, is it noted that the shaping composition is applied to the top surface, as shown at (A)-(C) in FIG. 8, but could be applied to portions of the bottom surface, as also shown in this FIG. As with Example 7 (FIG. 7), a deformation in the form of a multi-dimensional curvature is induced by the exothermic reaction of the shaping composition coated on the green body leaf-shaped object, as shown at (D)-(F) in FIG. 8. The same shaping and sintering protocols are used as described in Example 5. It is found that a flat green body object with a more intricate (and delicate) perimeter shape, e.g., leaf tips, could be induced to generate a multi-dimensional curve in the X-Z direction as well as the Y-Z direction, even without damaging the more delicate perimeter shapes generated during three-dimensional printing in many cases.

Furthermore, even though the green body object is initially resting on a flat surface, the object exhibited a significant amount of desired deformation/shaping towards the coating side of the object, becoming solidified/hardened upon sintering, heat soaking at a fusing temperature, T fUSe , of about 1000 °C for about 30 minutes, as outlined in the Heating Protocols of Example 4. As mentioned, typically a fused metallic part is difficult to form in this convex shape without the use of spacers or supports during heat-fusion processes. Again, in this example, after sintering, the shaping composition forms a black residue that is powdery and can be easily wiped away.

Example 9 - Surface Treatment After Fused Metallic Object Formation

[0075] A fused metallic object prepared using a shaping composition to generate a shaping composition-induced deformation was cleaned up by brushing intermetallic reaction product therefrom, and then lightly sandblasting the surface of the object to form a smooth surface. [0076] While the present technology has been described with reference to certain examples, various modifications, changes, omissions, and substitutions can be made without departing from the disclosure.