Design for AM

From lightweighting and material efficiency to energy consumption: Where are we on AM’s sustainability journey?

Additive Manufacturing has been heralded as a game-changing technology of the future. But while many ‘green’ and ecological initiatives have bloomed from the AM movement, the question remains: “Is AM environmentally friendly?” As Olaf Diegel, Ray Huff, and Terry Wohlers explain, the short answer is: it can be, in the hands of good designers and well-informed manufacturers. As with any tool or process, knowledge and experience are key. It is important to explore the many ways AM is applied in sustainable ways and whether it is improving. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 1, Spring 2020] ... Read more »

Velo3D: How a ‘support-free’ Laser Powder Bed Fusion process could remove roadblocks to serial Additive Manufacturing

With its Sapphire machine and Flow build preparation software capable of highly-controlled, virtually support-free Additive Manufacturing, Velo3D is pushing the limits of what is possible with Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF). Since launching its first machine in 2018, the California-based company has seen success with a range of highly complex parts which would challenge even the most experienced AM engineer. In this article, Zach Murphree, Velo3D’s Vice President of Technical Partnerships, explains the key factors which set the company’s process apart from the wider AM market. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 5 No. 3, Autumn 2019] ... Read more »

DfAM insight: How to choose candidate products for AM production applications

With the right training and experience, a design engineer can quickly make an informed decision on whether a production part might be suitable for Additive Manufacturing. For the rest of us, some basic rules can be applied to understand if a product is a good fit. Here, Ray Huff and Terry Wohlers outline six questions that should be asked before going down the AM route for series production, and present a selection of successful real-world application examples that illustrate the issues raised. ... Read more »

VBN Components: Additive Manufacturing delivers a new generation of wear-resistant carbide parts

Sweden’s VBN Components AB has successfully combined the design freedoms offered by Additive Manufacturing with innovative process and material developments to create a new generation of high-strength, carbide-rich tool materials. These unique, patented alloys are transforming tool and wear component performance across a range of applications, from gear cutting hobs to food processing and the mining sector. Isabelle Bodén reports on the company’s development and the unique properties of its products. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 5 No. 2, Summer 2019] ... Read more »

From rapid prototyping to rocket engines: The evolution of 3T Additive Manufacturing

With two decades of experience in part production using Additive Manufacturing technologies, 3T Additive Manufacturing Ltd, based in Newbury, UK, today enjoys a strong position as an international developer and supplier of cutting edge metal AM components. At a time of transition for the company, Metal AM magazine’s Nick Williams and Emily-Jo Hopson met with outgoing CEO Ian Halliday and his successor, Nigel Robinson, to discuss the evolution of the metal AM industry to date and the business’s plans for further expansion [First published in Metal AM Vol. 5 No. 1, Spring 2019] ... Read more »

Scalmalloy® is too expensive and design optimisation only makes sense in aerospace. True or false?

Additive Manufacturing is not a cheap production process. The software, machine time, materials and expertise required to make the most of the technology all come at a significant cost. The resulting financial pressures may give rise to the temptation to select a material on its price and view advanced topology optimisation as a luxury. As Jon Meyer, APWORKS, and John Barnes, The Barnes Group Advisors, demonstrate, the unique capabilities of AM mean that basing material choice on cost without considering the impact of material performance on the mass of the part is a false economy, limiting the competitiveness of AM and the potential of an application [First published in Metal AM Vol. 5 No. 1, Spring 2019] ... Read more »

Understanding build failures in Laser Powder Bed Fusion: An overview

Build failures remain a major challenge in metal Additive Manufacturing, particularly on large parts for which build times are measured in many days rather than hours. They come at a high price in lost machine time, wasted material and delayed deliveries. Olaf Diegel and Terry Wohlers explain a number of reasons for such failures in Laser Powder Bed Fusion processes. In many cases, one can reduce their risk through effective part and support design, parameter control and machine maintenance. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 5 No. 1, Spring 2019] ... Read more »

Binder Jet metal Additive Manufacturing: Process chain considerations when moving towards series production

With the launch of a number of new systems targeting the series production of components, Binder Jetting is generating a high level of interest in the world of metal Additive Manufacturing and beyond. In the following report, Sebastian Boris Hein, Claus Aumund-Kopp and Bastian Barthel of Fraunhofer IFAM review the main process considerations and production steps in the Binder Jetting of metals as related to series production, highlighting both the advantages of the technology and the challenges that it poses [First published in Metal AM Vol. 4 No. 4, Winter 2018] ... Read more »

How residual stress can cause major build failures, and what you can do to prevent it

Anyone who starts out on their own evaluation of the opportunities presented by metal Additive Manufacturing will soon stumble across the phrase ‘build failure’. Whilst there can be many causes for a failed build, which of course comes at a significant cost in terms of both material wastage and machine time, residual stress is often at the top of the list. As Olaf Diegel and Terry Wohlers explain, residual stress can be both anticipated and managed though a combination of basic design rules, process settings and post-build heat treatment [First published in Metal AM Vol. 4 No. 4, Winter 2018] ... Read more »

Siemens: Digitalisation enables the industrialisation of metal Additive Manufacturing at Finspång

As one of the world’s largest industrial companies, Siemens has experienced first hand the process of taking metal AM from the R&D laboratory to the series production of critical components for its power generation business. Today, it is supporting the global industrialisation of the technology through its Siemens NX Additive Manufacturing software. In the following report the company’s Aaron Frankel and Ashley Eckhoff explain their belief that, whilst the potential of AM is massive, digitalisation will play a critical role in enabling its transition from a prototyping tool to a serial production technology [First published in Metal AM Vol. 4 No. 3, Autumn 2018] ... Read more »

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 176-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Innovation and differentiation: Precious metal Additive Manufacturing in the jewellery sector
  • Unrealised potential: The story and status of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion
  • Freemelt AB: Open source technology to explore the potential of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion
  • In pursuit of perfection: A case study on how Bugatti and APWORKS leverage the full potential of AM
  • Facing obstacles to profitability in metal AM: An Operational Excellence perspective
  • Mass-production using PBF-LB: How laser beam measurements can help pave the way
  • Link3D’s ‘Additive Manufacturing Maturity Model’: Developing an agile and resilient supply chain
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM): Binder Jetting Technology demystified
  • > More information

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