Additive Manufacturing

Think out of the box with Additive Manufacturing

  • Are you looking for innovative solutions to produce technology?
  • Are you looking for a new solution to produce metal parts without tools?
  • Do you wish to significantly shorten your manufacturing cycle time?
  • Are you looking for a new solution to create lightweight components?
  • Are you willing to drastically reduce your development time?

If your answer is YES to one or several of these questions, additive manufacturing technology is for you!

  • What is Additive Manufacturing?

    Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, rapid prototyping or freeform fabrication, is “the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies” such as machining. The term 3D printing can be defined as the fabrication of objects through the deposition of a material using a print head, nozzle, or another printer technology.”

  • Additive Manufacturing technologies

    There are 2 main families of additive manufacturing technologies

    • Powder bed technologies
      • Selective Laser Melting (SLM) where the metal powder is melted by a laser beam
      • Electron Beam Melting (EBM) where the metal powder is melted by an electron beam after a preheating step
      • Precision inkjet printing where the metal powder is mixed with a binder: after the printing operation, the part is consolidated by sintering
    • Blown powder technologies, also known as Laser Metal Deposition or Laser cladding
      • In this process, the metal powder is blown coaxially to the laser beam which melts the particles on a base metal to form a metallurgical bond when cooled

    Selective Laser Melting

    Features:

    • Complex shapes & internal cavities
    • Thin walls & lattice structures
    • Better surface finish
     

    Blown Powder Technolgy

    Features:

    • Both for cladding & Freeform
    • Large part size possible
    • High powder deposition rates possible
    • Use of coarser powders
     

    Inkjet Printing

     

    Features:

    • High tolerances, good surface finish & high resolution due to no melting during printing
    • Suitable for thin walls & channels as cleaning is facilitated due to no melting during printing
    • High productivity for small complex components
     
  • The key benefits of Additive Manufacturing

    • Freedom of design
    • Complex shape, inner cavities or foam / lattice structures, impossible to produce by machining
    • Thin walls & shapes impossible to produce by casting
    • Light weight parts with lattice / foam inner structures
    • Flexibility in design changes
    • Customized design
    • Multiple pieces built as one
    • No tool needed
    • Short production time (a few hours)
  • A wide range of alloys possible

    Chart of Alloys

    • Titanium alloys
    • Aluminium Alloys
    • Nickel base alloys
    • Cobalt base alloys
    • Stainless steels
    • Tool steels
    • Other Fe base alloys
    • Copper base alloys
    • Precious metals
    • Others
  • Metal Powders key features

    Metal Powders

    For additive manufacturing, metal powders should have:

    • spherical shape to ensure good flow and coating ability
    • particle size usually below 50 μm or below 150 μm depending on machine type and surface finish required
    • particle size distribution tailored to the application & properties
    • controlled chemical composition
    • controlled gas content

 

A selection of products created using Additive Manufacturing Technology are shown below:

 

Aerospace

 

Medical

 

Automotive, Industrial and Tooling

 

Consumer Goods

 

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