BeAM and Empa to focus on high precision Directed Energy Deposition technologies

October 22, 2018

BeAM and Empa to focus on high precision Directed Energy Deposition technologies

DED technology can be used to manufacture near net shape components more quickly than is possible using PBF Additive Manufacturing (Courtesy BeAM)


BeAM, Strasbourg, France, has signed a research and development agreement with Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. The research partnership will focus on powder-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technologies for metal Additive Manufacturing, and aims at jointly developing the technology for high-precision DED machines.

The agreement comes after Empa’s acquisition of a BeAM DED machine earlier this year, to be used in the integration and testing of new components. The machine is located at the Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing in Thun, Switzerland, where it is in use by Patrick Hoffmann and his research team specialising in laser processing, Powder Metallurgy and process monitoring.

DED enables components to be manufactured more quickly than is possible using traditional Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) methods of Additive Manufacturing, and also has unique potential in that it allows different metal powders to be fed simultaneously into the build process and fused to form functionally graded materials. It also makes possible the production of ‘sandwich structures’, where the core of a part is produced in a different material to the outer layer.

“We are very excited to collaborate with BeAM’s engineers to push the boundaries of this innovative Additive Manufacturing technology and to develop a whole new range of applications for Swiss industries and beyond,” stated Hoffman. Vincent Gillet, BeAM CEO, added, “We are very proud that Empa joins our network of partners to help us enhance our lead in DED technology.”

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In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • What happens when you take the powder out of AM? Charting the rise of wire-based DED with WAAM3D
  • Smart sensor-integrated parts by AM: A look at a novel possibility with industrial applications
  • Tailored materials for AM: How a 'powder kit' can achieve greater material diversity with fewer resources in PBF-LB
  • QuesTek's ICMD: Faster, cheaper, and better alloy development for Additive Manufacturing
  • NanoAL: Alloy development on an open parameter PBF-LB machine, from installation through to Rapid Alloy Screening
  • Using the Six Sigma method to optimise metal powder spreading in PBF-LB
  • Insights from R&D to part production: How CT analysis can advance metal Binder Jetting
  • Corrosion and wear resistence of materials processed by beam-based AM technologies

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