Lloyd’s Register has awarded MX3D, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, certification for its Directed Energy Deposition (DED) facility, incorporating the M1 Metal AM system, in accordance with the requirements of the LR-TWIO ‘Guidance notes for Additive Manufacturing certification’. The scope of the qualification included assessment of control relating to feedstock, equipment, personnel, processes and build control covering multiple materials such as aluminium alloys, copper alloys, carbon and stainless steel alloys.
MX3D has seven years of experience with robotic Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), a wire-based DED process. This technology is reported to have the highest deposition rate in metal AM, and the material properties for tested manufactured alloys are said to be excellent.
Based on customer research, the company launched its M1 Metal AM machine. The machine runs on the company’s proprietary MetalXL software and comes with a control system that monitors and logs all relevant building parameters. It also has automated calibration routines built in, to minimise downtime during production.
“This is huge!” stated Gijs van der Velden, co-founder and CEO. “The certification will allow us to print with qualified Deposit Parameter Sets (DPSes) and help our customers to print certified end parts. After showcasing multiple industrial use cases – like an optimised robotic arm, near-net-shape propellers and clamps for the oil & gas industry – the last step needed for implementation in the businesses of our customers was this external validation of our process.”
“We can now print materials using processes qualified by Lloyd’s Register 3.1 or 3.2 material certificates (3.2 certificates require third-party inspection), which enables the printed parts to be certified,” he continued. “Furthermore, our M1 Metal AM machine customers can benefit from fast-track qualification of their machine and procedures, as an additional service.”
David Hardacre from Lloyd’s Register, who led the certification procedure, added, “Having supported MX3D from the start of this project, we’re proud to be part of this latest success. The benefits of AM can be enormous and, as the focus shifts to manufacturing for safety-critical applications, the ability to meet industry standards and regulations will be key to fulfilling the technology’s potential.”
“This achievement is a significant step, not only for MX3D, but for the AM industry as a whole, demonstrating how the qualification of AM processes leads to products that can be certified for use in demanding applications within highly regulated industries,” he concluded.