Advantages of μ-MIM®

µ-MIM® has following advantages compared with other manufacturing methods

1. Machining Processing cost reduction in complicated design, higher productivity, shorter delivery date
2. Stamping More complicated design with higher accuracy
3. Pressure die casting More material option, higher mechanical properties
4. Lost-wax process Larger manufacturing lot size, higher accuracy
5. Compaction powder metallurgy Higher mechanical properties and design freedom
6. Additive manufacturing Higher productivity and more material selection

Advantages of µ‐MIM® against Machining

Cost reduction and shorter delivery time for complicated design components

Machining is a representative method for high precision processing; however, it is not suitable for mass production due to its long processing time per parts and its low material yield.

In general, MIM has a lower accuracy level than machining, however, our μ-MIM® has the same level of accuracy as machining. Moreover, it is of producing produce complicated designs like under-cut and integration of several parts which eliminate assembly steps and our material yield is 100%.

Machining μ-MIM®
Accuracy Highest precision Same level as machining (±0.1%)
Design freedom Not capable under-cut or tool unreachable design Fine complicated design in a few mm size is capable
Processing cost Long processing time Cheaper in larger volume
Material selection Difficult in hard-to-cut materials Mass production of Ti, bi-metal

Advantages of µ‐MIM® against Stamping

Mass production of complicated design with high accuracy

Both stamping and MIM are good at mass production, however, from the view of design freedom and tolerance, MIM has advantage.
µ‐MIM® is capable of mass-producing design of thin wall, which stamping cannot achieve, under-cut, less than a millimeter fine structure.

Stamping μ-MIM®
Accuracy C
Limited due to the material thickness variet
Same level as machining (±0.1%)
Design freedom C
Limited for complicated design
Fine complicated design in a few mm size is capable
Processing cost A
Best process for mass production
Cheaper in larger volume
Material selection range C
Commercial metal sheets
As long as powder exist. New alloy is also capable from elemental powder

Advantages of µ‐MIM® against Pressure die casting

Wider material selection range and better mechanical strength

Pressure die casting is a casting process where melted metal is injected into the mould. The design freedom is high, however, the material selection is limited as low melting point metals, such as Al, Zn. Moreover, the blowhole is not avoidable thus the mechanical properties are poor.
µ-MIM®can offer the same level of design freedom with good mechanical properties.
Advantages of m-MIM against Lost-wax process

Pressure die casting μ-MIM®
Accuracy B
Around ±1%
Around ±0.1%
Roughness (Rmax) B
Good in casting
Secondary treatment
can be eliminated
Parts size
(weight, thickness)
5 - 30,000 g
1 – 100 mm
≦ 10 g
0. 1 - 10mm
Production cost A
rocess step is few
Material cost is high, good at complicated small parts
Mechanical properties C
High density (>98%)
Material selection D
Low melting point metals only
As long as powder exist

Advantages of µ‐MIM® against Lost-wax process

MIM is the best for thin wall design mass production

Lost-wax process is a sand-casting process converting the master foam, which is made of wax, to metal using sand mould. This process allows high level of design freedom and wide range of material selection.
However, many processing steps are required due to using the sand mould. Moreover, finishing treatment is unavoidable thus, it is difficult to produce thin wall designed components.

Thin wall designed parts mass production is our μ-MIM® strength.

Lost -wax μ-MIM®
Accuracy B
Around ±1%
Around ±0.1%
Roughness Rmax C (12 - 20μm)
Need surface treatment
A (2 - 10μm)
Can eliminate secondary process
Size (Weight, Thickness) Middle
5 - 30,000g
1 - 100mm
0. 1 - 10mm
Processing cost C
Many processing steps such as tree assembly, layers of coatings
Metal powder is expensive,
Small & complicated design
Mechanical propertie B
Smelting metal property
High density (≥98%) leads to good properties
Material selection range B
Stainless steel, precious metal, difficult-to-cut metal
Precious metal, magnetic metal, as long as powder exist

Advantages of µ‐MIM® against compaction powder metallurgy

Remaining wide material selection yet realising higher design freedom

Compaction powder metallurgy is the most well-known process among powder metallurgy. The simple process, pressed form and sintered, is good at mass production. Also, as other PM, high melting point metals or difficult-to-cut metals are also applicable.
However, this process can only use large size metal powder thus, the density and roughness are low.
This leads to poor mechanical properties and low design flexibility.

μ-MIM® realise high density, smooth surface finishing and high design flexibility for mass production component

Compaction PM μ-MIM®
Accuracy B
Low at pressing direction
High in all direction
Relative density Low (70 - 90%)
Porous structure gives some function such as oil retaining bearing
High (≥ 98%)
High strength, high surface finishing quality
Mechanical properties C
Tensile strength is low
Same level as machined part
Processing cost A
Simple process, low processing cost
Beneficial for complicated small designed parts
Design freedom D
2-dimensional design only
3-dimensional complicated design is available

Advantages of µ‐MIM® against additive manufacturing

Mass production of high accuracy, strength and design freedom

Additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D metal printing is manufacturing parts stacking layers of metal powder according to 3D design data. This method is capable of manufacturing any design.
However, there is a significant variety of mechanical strength between vertical and horizontal direction against the stacking layer. Also, the surface roughness is poor.
On the other hand, it is not required the mould thus the lead time for prototype manufacturing is short.

Therefore, it is ideal to use AM for small amount production and MIM for mass production

Accuracy B
Lower than MIM
Same level as machining
Monthly productivity Low (till few hundreds)
2-6 hours/ parts
High (till few millions)
Good at mass production
Mechanical property C
Variation in strength according to the layer direction
High strength in all direction
Surface roughnes D
Required post surface treatment
Post surface treatment can be eliminated due to fine powder used
Design freedom A
Any design is possible as long as 3D design exist
Small complicated shape, hollow with under-cut
Lead time for trial sample A a week or two
Start immediately since no mould required
C around 8 weeks
Need mould composing
Material selection range B
Majority is stainless steel, development of Ti is progressing.
Stainless steel, titanium, precious metal, and so on.