TWI Ltd, headquartered in Great Abington, Cambridge, UK, has invested in a new xBeam-18/I Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) system from Chervona Hvilya, a metal Additive Manufacturing company located in Kyiv, Ukraine. The xBeam-18/I reportedly uses a unique hollow conical electron beam as the heating source and a coaxial supply of wire feedstock to the deposition area.
An order for the xBeam-18/I with Wire Feed Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (W-EBAM) capability was placed following a public tender, and will be located at TWI’s Cambridge facility. The company reports that the system will be applied to the Open Architecture Additive Manufacturing (OAAM) project, on which TWI is lead partner.
The project plans to develop Directed Energy Deposition (DED) Additive Manufacturing technologies that can be scaled up to accept multi-metre component sizes for the benefit of the UK’s aerospace industry. These new platforms are expected to enable aerospace manufacturers and their supply chains to develop advanced AM concepts.
TWI and Chervona Hvilya are said to be working closely to deliver a system which, they state, will meet the specific requirements of the OAAM project. This includes the development of special software routines specified by TWI, and CAD/CAM control interfacing across the range of OAAM DED technologies, which are being created with the assistance of Autodesk. The xBeam system is due to arrive at TWI’s facility in Autumn 2019.
Dr Sofia Del Pozo, Senior Project Leader at TWI, commented, “The xBeam system and its unique feature that allows feeding the wire coaxially will give us the opportunity to explore a great number of possibilities for 3D printing parts with wire. The system will offer a high level of flexibility along with precise process control. We are really excited about being the first ones to develop the xBeam coaxial system to produce metre-scale parts for the aerospace sector.”