Processing

Strategies for advancing the automation of metal Additive Manufacturing

In the early days of metal Additive Manufacturing process development, automation was off the radar of machine manufacturers. Technologies created for rapid prototyping simply had no need for it and, until the last decade, few truly anticipated the pace at which Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion and Binder Jetting have evolved in the race towards the series production of metal parts. In this article, Joseph Kowen reports on how the industry has addressed the challenges of automation so far, and what developments we can expect in the near future. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 4, Winter 2020] ... Read more »

System 3R: Bridging critical gaps in the Additive Manufacturing workflow to enable serial production

In conventional subtractive manufacturing process chains, components move efficiently throughout a production chain using pallets and standard referencing and clamping systems, enabling parts to be automatically processed by a variety of technologies as they move through a facility. GF Machining Solutions’ System 3R division has leveraged its expertise in this area to create a tooling solution tailored to Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) production. As Dogan Basic, Product Manager AM, explains, this optimises workflow, increasing the potential for AM automation and, as a result, for successful series production. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 4, Winter 2020] ... Read more »

Machine Learning and Additive Manufacturing: What does the future hold?

As industry marches toward automation, networked communication and robotics, Additive Manufacturing has a unique advantage. No other production technology has been designed, from its inception, to enable connectivity and communication; AM machines around the world are already producing more build data than any other manufacturing technology. If used properly, this data will provide the foundation for the development of Machine Learning tools that can improve and industrialise the AM process at nearly every point in the workflow. In this article, Chelsea Cummings and John Barnes, from The Barnes Global Advisors, discuss the present and future of Machine Learning in AM. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 4, Winter 2020] ... Read more »

CFD simulation for metal Additive Manufacturing: Applications in laser- and sinter-based processes

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is widely applied to solve a broad range of research and engineering problems, from aerodynamics to engine combustion and microfluidics. In this article, Pareekshith Allu, Senior CFD Engineer at Flow Science, Inc, explains how CFD can also be used to improve laser- and non-laser-based metal Additive Manufacturing processes, including Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB), Directed Energy Deposition (DED), Binder Jetting (BJT) and Material Extrusion (MEX). [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 4, Winter 2020] ... Read more »

Metal Additive Manufacturing in New Zealand: An overview of research, commercial activities and strategic initiatives

For a country with a total population significantly smaller than that of cities such as London or New York, New Zealand is ‘punching above its weight’ when it comes to developing expertise in Additive Manufacturing and educating design engineers in how to use it. Olaf Diegel, a professor at New Zealand’s University of Auckland and associate consultant at Wohlers Associates, and Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates, report on AM activities and highlight a novel range of successful commercial applications. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 3, Autumn/Fall 2020] ... Read more »

Additive Manufacturing of hardmetals: An evaluation of potential processes for tool production

Hardmetals, also known as cemented carbides, have played a huge and often overlooked role in modern industrial development. From the first application in wire drawing dies in the 1920s, hardmetals are today universal and their application areas range from metal cutting and the machining of wood, plastics and composites to the production of glass bottles, aluminium cans and the ubiquitous ball-point pen tip. Can Additive Manufacturing make inroads into a market worth tens of billions of Euros in annual sales? Dr.-Ing. Johannes Pötschke reviews the fundamentals of hardmetal production and considers the most viable AM processes for this complex family of materials. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 3, Autumn/Fall 2020] ... Read more »

From aerospace engineering to AM: Melanie Lang on FormAlloy and the future of Directed Energy Deposition (DED)

When you mix a childhood obsession with rockets and space travel, a career at some of the biggest global names in aerospace, and a curiosity about hobbyist 3D printing developed through maker fairs, it was inevitable that FormAlloy’s Melanie Lang would end up in the world of metal Additive Manufacturing. Metal AM magazine’s Emily-Jo Hopson-VandenBos interviewed Lang, CEO and co-founder of Directed Energy Deposition (DED) specialist FormAlloy, about her route into AM, her company’s technology and the outlook for the process. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 3, Autumn/Fall 2020] ... Read more »

Advancing rocket propulsion through Additive Manufacturing, novel surface finishing technologies and public-private partnerships

Whilst Additive Manufacturing is undoubtedly having a huge impact on the design and manufacture of rocket propulsion systems, most notably combustion chambers and nozzles, the Achilles’ heel of most AM processes is as-built surface finish. Whilst in many AM applications surface finish may be largely irrelevant to a component’s function or performance, when it comes to high-cycle fatigue properties, achieving the required level of smoothness is critical to performance. In this article, Justin Michaud, REM Surface Engineering, reports on advancements achieved in this area through a public-private partnership with NASA. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 3, Autumn/Fall 2020] ... Read more »

Freemelt AB: Open source technology to explore the potential of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion

A new wave of AM machine manufacturers focused on Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-EB) is looking to capitalise on what is perceived as a process with significant untapped market potential. One of the most prominent of these newcomers is Freemelt AB, a developer of open source machines designed to help broaden the PBF-EB material portfolio and application areas. As Metal AM magazine’s Emily-Jo Hopson-VandenBos reports, co-founders Ulric Ljungblad and Ulf Ackelid have no doubt as to the opportunities ahead. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 2, Summer 2020] ... Read more »

Unrealised potential: The story and status of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion

In January, Boeing’s new 777X aircraft made its maiden flight, powered by two GE9X engines from GE Aviation. Whilst this was a major moment for both companies, it was also a huge milestone for Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-EB), and the culmination of decades of process and material development work at the driving force behind the technology, Arcam AB. Whilst the many turbine blades used in the GE9X engine are the highlight of the first chapter in the story of PBF-EB, there is also a lingering sense of unrealised potential. Here, Joseph Kowen considers the story to date and highlights a new generation of firms working to increase the technology’s adoption. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 2, Summer 2020] ... 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 204-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Optimised thermal management in semiconductor fabrication using AI-enabled generative design and Additive Manufacturing
  • Forging a process for mass customisation via metal Additive Manufacturing
  • Bringing it all together: How Materialise is integrating manufacturing and software expertise to shape AM’s future
  • Pedal to the metal at the Digital Manufacturing Centre: Redefining what’s possible for AM in hypercars and beyond
  • The future is Additive Manufacturing – if we take a more holistic view of the design opportunities
  • Building a case for radical collaboration plus quality standards: The pathway to growing the AM industry
  • Distributed manufacturing: Old concept, new relevance, new technology?
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing: A workflow for a metal AM heat exchanger using nTopology (BJT)
  • Taking the holistic view:
    Defining the state-of-the-art in the evolving PBF-LB machine marketplace
  • > More information

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