Freemelt, Mölndal, Sweden, has been granted a patent in Sweden for its ProHeat™ solution that enables the preheating of the powder bed in Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-EB) AM machines. The latest patent follows recent patents for a powder removal method granted in the US and Europe.
The company explains that ProHeat is based on heating by electromagnetic radiation from a heating device positioned over the powder bed. The radiation sinters each powder layer smoothly, with zero risk of powder charging or so-called smoke events.
“This invention is undoubtedly groundbreaking, and therefore we have already developed the technology to the point where we offer it in connection with system deliveries to new customers or via upgrade to established users of Freemelt’s machines,” stated Ulf Ackelid, inventor, senior scientist and co-founder of Freemelt. “We are proud of the innovation that expands the potential for electron beam-based 3D printing to new classes of materials that were previously impossible to print.”
“ProHeat™ will accelerate the development of new materials as time-consuming optimisation of preheating parameters is no longer needed,” added Ackelid. “The invention makes it possible to heat and sinter the powder bed in a gentle and uniform manner, without exposing it to electric charge. This makes it easier and more efficient to build parts of fine powder and of powder with low electrical conductivity.”
The patent has been granted in Sweden and the application is also being processed in a number of other countries. Patent protection for the invention extends until April 17, 2040, in all jurisdictions where the patent is granted.
Further information about the patent is available here.
To learn more about Freemelt’s PBF-EB technology, read the article ‘Freemelt AB: Open source technology to explore the potential of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion’, in the Summer 2020 issue of Metal AM magazine.