Optomec to Develop Production Recipes for U.S. Air Force Metal-Additive Repairs

July 7, 2021

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Optomec to Develop Production Recipes for U.S. Air Force Metal-Additive Repairs
The U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker Air Force base has awarded Optomec a $500,000 process-development contract for repair via additive manufacturing (AM) of jet-engine components used in F-15 and F-16 fighters. The effort will focus on developing optimized process parameters and procedures to enable AM repair of turbine blades, made from titanium- and nickel-base superalloys, and rely on Optomec’s Lens powder-fed directed energy deposition technology. The contract calls for development of printable recipes and libraries, in conjunction with the delivery of an automated turbine-blade-repair machine. The program has a projected ROI of 184 percent, with a payback period of less than 2 years.

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High-Performance Vacuum Debind and Sintering Furnaces
Centorr Vacuum Industries is a manufacturer of high performance vacuum debind and sintering furnaces for the 3D Additive Manufacturing furnace market, as well as units for Metal and Ceramic Injection Molding. Available with either metal or graphite hot zones, these units can process all of the most common metals including Fe-Ni, 316-L, 17-4PH, and Inconel powders and feedstocks as well as a variety of other materials including titanium, tungsten carbide, tool steels, and superalloys. The new Sintervac AM™ operates at pressures of 0-15 torr as well as positive pressures of argon, nitrogen, or forming gas for increased flexibility of processing binder-jetted parts, while the Workhorse AM™ is used for the heat treat, annealing, and tempering of laser-sintered parts. For more information, contact the sales department at 603-595-7233, sales@centorr.com or www.centorr.com.

VW Partnership with Siemens, HP Yields Binder Jetting of Metal A-Pillar Parts
Reportedly the first instance of an automaker employing metal binder jetting to produce production parts, Volkswagen now is using the technology to produce T-Roc A-pillar parts at its main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. The breakthrough results from a 5-yr. multi-million-dollar investment by VW in metal binder jetting, including a collaboration with HP Inc. and a software partnership with Siemens.

One key process step undertaken in joint work by Siemens and VW: optimizing the nesting of components in the build chamber, which enables production of twice as many parts per print session. The binder-jetted A-pillar parts, weighing almost 50-percent less than conventional components made from sheet metal, have gone to VW’s Osnabrück, Germany, facility for certification. This follows successful crash tests on 3D-printed metallic vehicle components by VW. 

What You Should Be Looking for in a Modern 3D Metal Printer
Productivity, reliability, and repeatability are essential to your ability to scale your metal additive manufacturing. Emerging technologies can push this “holy trinity” of attributes beyond the status quo, and taking advantage of these new capabilities can help your organization further its position as an innovator in the market.
Download our eGuide now to learn more!

Ramon Pastor
Sweet Spots for Metal Binder Jetting
As the newly named global head and general manager of 3D metals for HP Inc., Ramon Pastor is no stranger to additive efforts at the company. Pastor was instrumental in developing the initial business plan for launching HP’s plastics AM business, and has managed both the metals and plastics AM units for the company. Asked to move over from plastics to lead the metals segment, featuring HP’s Metal Jet binder jetting technology, Pastor seeks to take full advantage of the opportunities.

“Binder jetting offers a unique economical value proposition because of efficiencies,” Pastor tells 3D Metal Printing magazine senior editor Lou Kren in this exclusive interview, “as efficient and minimal post-processing removes labor costs. On top of this, metal AM, and metal binder jetting in particular, provides freedom of design that allows for a vast variety of parts. So, it's much easier to find compelling cases.”

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NoSupports Metal Printing Webinar - Live July 13th at 2 PM EDT
Past methods for supporting metal additive manufactured (AM) parts have imposed limitations on part design. The increased complexity associated with removing supports has added cost and lead time to the process, and some parts and applications have even been disqualified from AM due to support-based issues.
Register Now

Industry New
Vertex Manufacturing Installing Velo3D AM Machine to Meet Growing Complex-Part Demand
3D Systems Expands Technology-Leadership Team, Adds AM Chief Technology Officer
Service Heat Treating Expands Footprint, Adds Capacity
Pastor Now Leading HP Metals Efforts
Cumberland Additive Expanding Operations to Pittsburgh’s Neighborhood 91 AM Campus
Dyndrite Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum

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Strong and Ductile 3D Metal Printed Components
Since 3D printing builds to near net or finished dimensions, vacuum heat treating is an absolute necessity. Vacuum levels that approach 1 X 10-6 Torr produce clean and oxide free surface conditions that are metallurgically stable. Critical temperature control is also a must to avoid cracking and producing a strong and ductile part.

Spring 2021
In This Issue
Neighborhood 91 Poised to Become a Pittsburgh AM Powerhouse
A public/private partnership provided the infrastructure, including a reliable micro power grid, argon gas delivery and recycling, and powder storage, with AM institutions and companies now stepping in to build a concentrated base of expertise and capabilities to fuel economical scaling of AM development and production.

What’s in Store for Additive Manufacturing as We Recover from COVID-19?
As manufacturers continue to navigate a new inflection point, we can expect AM to continue making an impact in three key ways: the rise of on-demand manufacturing networks; marrying software to hardware into true platforms, to seamlessly bring parts form design to production; and simplifying supply chains.

Coming in 3DMP's Summer 2021 Issue
  • AMUG Wrapup
  • 3D Printing of Superalloys
  • Metal-AM Semiconductor Applications
  • Case Studies: Metal 3D Printers in Action

Industry-Related Terms: Case, Center, Download, Form, Forming, Hardware, Lead Time, Nesting, Point, Scale, Surface, Tempering
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms



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