Medical Imaging component manufacturer Smit Röntgen, a Philips brand based in Best, The Netherlands, has developed Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology to process pure tungsten via powder bed laser melting.
Pure tungsten is an excellent X-ray absorber, is resilient to high temperature exposure and is environmentally safe (RoHS compliant). This technology enables high volume production of tungsten parts without design compromises.
Smit Röntgen began to research the potential of Additive Manufacturing pure Tungsten products as a business opportunity a number of years ago. The company states that by collaborating with one of the major system builders in the AM industry, and through partnerships with specialists in the field, extensive know-how has been jointly developed on every step of the process.
“From process development to industrialisation, Smit Röntgen is focused on creating added value to the industry by developing and manufacturing parts for medical applications, in particular high precision parts for X-ray collimation targeting the CT/PET/SPECT market. In addition, we also started to design and produce parts for industrial use,” stated Harry Kleijnen, Head of Development, Smit Röntgen.
To further develop the technology, the company has invested in production, post-processing and measurement equipment. Key for AM process development is to include verification and validation in-house to ensure short design cycles. This is fundamental for the functionality of the process and an expertise that should not be underestimated, states Smit Röntgen.
“When talking to major players in medical and non-medical fields, it becomes evident that being able to 3D print pure Tungsten parts does attract global attention. By mastering this technique, the possibilities for creating new innovative products and niche markets are endless,” stated Pieter Nuijts responsible for Marketing and Sales of Smit Röntgen.