High surface area heat exchangers with metal FFF

User Profile Image

David Durbin

May 24, 2023

This application concept was designed by Steve Cox from AMFORi to showcase one of the many possible ways that metal FFF technology can improve existing processes.

Steve used his experience working alongside partners in a wide range of different industries to identify a valuable use case that leverages the unique advantages of metal printing on UltiMaker printers.


The higher the surface area of a heat exchanger, the more effectively it can transfer heat. Creating a high-efficiency metal heat exchanger in a compact form factor is challenging when using traditional manufacturing techniques.

MFFF Heat Exchanger 4-highlihgt
The heat exchanger in its "green form" after 3D printing. It will shrink by roughly 20% when sent for debinding and sintering


Additive manufacturing makes it possible create parts with novel internal geometries that would be difficult or impossible to create otherwise.

This concept part is a three-to-one compact, single-piece heat exchanger for thermal management in the smallest possible form factor.

The optimized internal geometry of the part allows for massively increased efficiency over a heat exchanger using a traditional design such as a shell and tube or a plate-based heat exchanger.

MFFF Heat Exchanger 3-highlight
Such a complex internal geometry to maximize surface area can only be achieved with metal 3D printing


Print time Weight Cost
31 hours 39 minutes 877 g $130.30

The internal curved fin geometry of this part was designed to maximize the surface area of the model, therefore increasing its heat transfer capabilities. The part has little-to-no overhangs, so no structural support material is required.

The result is a part that would be reliable and easy to print, while also being easier to post-process. As it is printed in metal, it would also have no problem operating at the high temperatures this part would be subject to.

Metal 3D printing made accessible

This part showcases the many ways metal 3D printing can achieve breakthrough results in the production of small parts and components.

Click below for more explore more MFFF application inspiration. Or discover how to buy the UltiMaker Metal Expansion Kit for yourself.

← Explore more metal applications

Meet the Metal Expansion Kit