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.
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, email@example.com or www.centorr.com.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.