MPIF Design Awards showcase Metal Additive Manufacturing industry

ApplicationsNews
June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

The PM Design Excellence Awards celebrate the capabilities of all metal powder forming technologies, from PM and MIM to metal AM (Courtesy MPIF)

The winners of the 2024 Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards competition, sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), were announced at PowderMet2024, held this year in Pittsburgh, USA. Ten Grand Prizes and seventeen Awards of Distinction were presented in this year’s competition, with entries divided into three categories: conventional Press and Sinter Powder Metallurgy; Metal Injection Molding and Metal Additive Manufacturing.

The winners once again demonstrate outstanding examples of the PM industry’s diversity and ability to meet critical requirements. From electric vehicles to medical implants, parts fabricators have demonstrated PM’s versatility and unique ability to challenge competing technologies.

The following are prizes presented in the Metal Additive Manufacturing category:

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GRAND PRIZE AWARDS

Automotive – Engine

Divergent Technologies, Inc’s award-winning CZV engine exhaust tip for the Czinger 21 hypercar (Courtesy MPIF)

In the Automotive -Engine Category for metal AM components, a Grand Prize was awarded to Divergent Technologies, Inc. for a CZV engine exhaust tip for the Czinger 21 C. The part was produced using Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) and a built-in honeycomb structure was iteratively positioned along the flow pathway to optimise weight balance and ideal pressure drop.

Additive Manufacturing enabled rapid design loops, manufacturing, and testing to optimise the product design in less than one month. A similar product would take six months to produce via conventional manufacturing. Lightweighting was a particular focus of the part design, aimed at improving fuel economy.

Military/Firearms

This firearms suppressor won an award for Amaero and its customer, Wedgetail Industries (Courtesy MPIF)

A Grand Prize in the Military/Firearms Category for metal AM components was awarded to Australia’s Amaero and its customer, Wedgetail Industries, for a firearms suppressor. The parts are made using PBF-LB from either Ti-6Al-4V or Inconel 718.

Firearms suppressors are typically manufactured as an assembly of precision machined components, joined with one or more threaded joints. Metal AM provides the opportunity to manufacture very complex suppressor designs that contain no mechanical joints, and permits design details that are not achievable through traditional manufacturing processes.

Hardware/Appliance

Kennametal Inc. won an award for this stator bore-reaming tool, part of a tool for machining stator bore housings for EV motors (Courtesy MPIF)

A Grand Prize in the Hardware/Appliance Category for metal AM components was awarded to Kennametal Inc. for a stator bore-reaming tool. The component is part of a cutting tool for machining stator bore housings for electric vehicle motors. It machines two diameters concurrently in one pass.

The component was built by PBF-LB. The design allowed large sections of the component to be self-supporting. The design allows large sections of the component to be self-supporting, reducing the need for post-processing operations. The AM process also enabled the production of a lighter tool, facilitating manual and automated tool handling, as well as enabling faster and more efficient acceleration of the machine spindle.

Medical/Dental

3DEO and its customer, Zimmer Biomet, won an award for these surgical device parts (Courtesy MPIF)

In the Medical/Dental Category for metal AM components, a Grand Prize was awarded to 3DEO and its customer Zimmer Biomet, for bone marrow harvester parts. Advanced suction curettage technology can harvest small to large volumes of cancellous (trabecular) bone and non-diluted bone marrow aspirate in a few minutes through a minimally invasive incision.

3DEO’s sinter-based Additive Manufacturing process eliminates the complexity and expense associated with post-processing operations, and waste is minimised. 3DEO is an Additive Manufacturing service bureau that uses an in-house patented process called Intelligent Layering. The technology is a fusion of Binder Jetting (BJT) and CNC machining that, the company claims, is faster, cheaper and capable of higher resolution than BJT alone.

AWARDS OF DISTINCTION

Automotive – Electric Vehicle

Azoth3D won an award for a seatbelt pillar adjustable guide loop for its customer, General Motors. The part is used in the all-electric Cadillac Celestiq. (Courtesy MPIF / General Motors)

An Award of Distinction, in the Automotive—Electric Vehicle Category for metal AM components, was given to Azoth for a seatbelt pillar adjustable guide loop for its customer General Motors. The part is used in the all-electric Cadillac Celestiq.

The stainless steel part is produced by Binder Jetting (BJT) and sintered to 97% relative density. The surface of the parts is semi-automatically polished prior to a multi-layer bright nickel-chrome plating operation to improve corrosion performance and provide a hard, scratch-resistant surface.

When Cadillac revealed its Celestiq vehicle, it marked a significant milestone on the path to achieving the company’s goal of creating an all-electric, ultra-luxury vehicle. John Roth, Vice President of Global Cadillac at General Motors, stated that the team at GM “rethought everything, resulting in the most technologically advanced vehicle in the brand’s history.”

The development of the vehicle resulted in numerous innovations, including 115 parts produced by Additive Manufacturing. This seatbelt pillar adjustable guide loop is GM’s first safety-related metal AM part.

“BJT allows the assembly of this part to be reduced from four separate components to one complete component, saving time and money. BJT makes this part optimised for targeted strength and weight performance. As GM’s first safety-related 3D printed metal part, this pushes the boundaries of what we can accomplish and facilitates Cadillac’s place at the forefront of innovation and luxury,” stated Roth.

Hardware/Appliances

APG-MIM, a Division of Nichols Portland Inc., won an award for these 150 mm pneumatic chuck jaws for work-holding during precision turning. The parts are made by a sinter-based AM process, called Moldjet, developed by Tritone Technologies (Courtesy MPIF)

An Award of Distinction in the Hardware/Appliances Category for metal AM components, was presented to APG-MIM, a Division of Nichols Portland Inc., for 150 mm pneumatic chuck jaws for work-holding during precision turning. The parts are made using Moldjet technology from Tritone Technologies.

This sinter-based Additive Manufacturing process allows inner-lattice structures to be formed without having to de-powder, eliminating the risk of any powder entrapment in difficult to access areas. Moldjet processing generates little waste, and the wax used to form the in-process mould is recovered and can be re-used for the next build.

Medical/Dental

In the Medical/Dental Category for metal AM components, an Award of Distinction was awarded to Azoth3D and its customer, Sur-Set Connect LLC, for electromedical connector components comprising a set screw, set screw block, and a spring housing. These components mate with the associated catheter and provide mechanical feedback to the surgeon ensuring proper insertion of the catheter in the patient.

The very small size and complexity of these components led to depowdering issues when made using Binder Jetting. The problem was overcome by changing to Xjet’s material jetting (MJT) process. The parts are produced in 316L stainless steel with high resolution and good surface finish.

Contact

Metal Powder Industries Federation
105 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540
USA

www.mpif.org

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ApplicationsNews
June 18, 2024

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Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

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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:

  • BMW Group: Laying the foundations for the application of metal Additive Manufacturing in the automotive industry
  • Predicting the metal Additive Manufacturing market – and breaking the hype cycle
  • China’s thriving metal Additive Manufacturing industry: An outsider’s perspective
  • Enhancing the productivity of Additive Manufacturing facilities through PBF-LB automation
  • Award-winning metal AM parts from the MPIF’s 2024 Design Excellence Awards
  • Performance of eddy currents for the in-situ detection of defects during PBF-LB metal AM

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