Among the wide range of solutions it delivers to the additive manufacturing industry, machine manufacturer GF Machining Solutions is mostly known for the metal 3D printing systems developed in collaboration with AM company 3D Systems: the DMP Flex 350 and the DMP Factory 500 3D printers.
Those 3D printers are part of the DMP production line and aim to address the issues raised by additive and subtractive manufacturing processes within the same platforms. In this vein, new solutions are continuously developed to improve the manufacturing process of these hybrid systems.
One of the latest solutions developed for this purpose in mind is a prototype of an in-situ control device using electromagnetic imaging. Developed by the Swiss company AMiquam SA, this technology is compliant with NDT standards widely used in the metal industry. It has been integrated into the DMP Flex 350 as part of a partnership supported by ETH Zurich inspire AG.
The stand-alone plug-and-play electromagnetic system allows companies in regulated markets such as aerospace or healthcare to collect information on AM process stability with quality assessment on porosity or defects, in compliance with international standards and regulatory bodies.
Next to this prototype of an in-situ control device, 3D Systems and GF Machining Solutions add two new materials to the DMP production line: Certified HX and Certified CuCr2.4.
Key specifications of the new materials
Certified HX is a high-performance nickel alloy that contains a higher percentage of molybdenum (up to 9.5%) compared to other nickel alloys, which enhances its strength and resistance to corrosion, creep deformation, cracking, and oxidation in hot zone environments. This material is ideal for applications with a service temperature of up to 1200°C.
With superior printed part quality and part density (typically 99.9%), Certified HX is ideal for producing tall, large parts – that require high strength and corrosion resistance – and that integrate cooling and flow channels. Such parts are often manufactured in the energy, industrial gas turbine (IGT), petro-chemical, as well as the aerospace and defense industries. Typical applications are hot zone stator blades and integrated stators, impellers, turbine vanes, drilling tools, and combustion components that benefit from the high service temperature of the HX material.
“The DMP Factory 500, together with the new printing parameters for the HX nickel alloy, allows us to scale our Additive Manufacturing services by delivering large cross-section parts such as combustion chamber casings, stators, and impellers,” says Marco Salvisberg, Business Development Manager, Additive Manufacturing, GF Casting Solutions. “The high heat deflection temperature of the HX material, combined with surface smoothness, part accuracy, narrow tolerances and high repeatability of the DMP Factory 500 printing process, addresses the essential performance requirements of these parts and critical features such as cooling channels. Our customers rate DMP part quality as the best in the industry today.”
The other material added to GF Machining Solutions’ portfolio, Certified CuCr2.4, is a high-strength, corrosion-resistant copper alloy that is significantly stronger than pure copper and easier to process for Additive Manufacturing applications. Its superior part density (typically 99.9%) and high conductivity after heat treatment make CuCr2.4 ideal for heat management and cooling systems in the high tech, consumer goods, automotive, aerospace and defense industries, especially when strength is also a requirement.
“Our Application Innovation Group (AIG) works alongside our customers to design the best additive manufacturing solution to address their application challenges,” said Dr. David Leigh, EVP and chief technology officer for additive manufacturing, 3D Systems. “Defining the right solution starts with our team collaborating with customers to select the best material to meet the part’s required performance and mechanical properties. Continued investment in our materials portfolio will help increase the number of applications available to help our customers’ demands — enabling them to accelerate their innovation and maintain their competitive advantage. The addition of Certified HX and Certified CuCr2.4 bolster our metals materials portfolio in support of our customers’ evolving application needs.”
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