Elec­tron beam printer a re­al­ity for in­dus­try

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - 3D TECHNOLOGY -

Sci­aky, a sub­sidiary of Phillips Ser­vice In­dus­tries (PSI) is mar­ket­ing its elec­tron beam ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing (EBAM) sys­tems for the first time.

Sci­aky has pre­dom­i­nantly of­fered its ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing process as a ser­vice-only op­tion to man­u­fac­tur­ers want­ing parts, up to 19ft (5.79m) in length, made of high-value met­als such as ti­ta­nium, tan­ta­lum, stain­less steel, and In­conel.

The tech­nol­ogy has been a key driver of sev­eral high pro­file re­search and de­vel­op­ment (R&D) projects in­volv­ing the US Air Force, Lock­heed Martin, DARPA and Boe­ing.

The EBAM process, which has been mar­keted as di­rect man­u­fac­tur­ing, com­bines com­puter-aided de­sign (CAD), elec­tron beam weld­ing tech­nol­ogy and layer-ad­di­tive pro­cess­ing.

Start­ing with a 3D model from a CAD pro­gram, Sci­aky’s fully-ar­tic­u­lated, mov­ing elec­tron beam weld­ing gun de­posits metal (via wire feed­stock), layer by layer.

De­po­si­tion rates of Sci­aky’s EBAM process range from 7 to 20 lbs (3kg-9kg) an hour, de­pend­ing upon part ge­om­e­try and the ma­te­rial se­lected. The build en­ve­lope can reach up to 19’ x 4’ x 4’ (L x W x H), al­low­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­duce very large parts and struc­tures, with vir­tu­ally no waste.

As a re­sult, man­u­fac­tur­ers can dras­ti­cally re­duce ma­te­rial costs, lead times and ma­chin­ing time, when com­pared to tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing meth­ods.

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