Canada Makes will soon successfully conclude the forth round of its Metal Additive Demonstration Program. The program is well on its way to completing 60 projects this year through the engagement of 100 companies all interested in metal additive manufacturing (AM). Proving once again how very popular this program is with large and small companies from across the country.
The Metal Additive Demonstration Program, delivered by Canada Makes with funding from NRC-IRAP, has a goal to help Canadian companies increase their awareness and assist in understanding the various advantages metal AM technologies offer.
“I am proud to say that we have done projects with companies from all provinces and even one territory,” said Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “Canada Makes has helped bring to life several AM applications in a variety of sectors and I know we will continue working with companies to deliver innovative ideas that will help shape the future of manufacturing.”
How the Metal Additive Demonstration Program works?
Canada Makes assists in assessing the needs of manufacturers and how best AM can fit into their business model. Some have needs like the fabrication of obsolete legacy parts no longer available, AM offers a relatively inexpensive solution. Others are tooling companies looking to improve productivity and gaining a competitive edge by adopting conformal cooling.
Canada Makes then introduces eligible companies projects to leading Canadian service providers of metal AM technologies who form the working group for delivery of parts. Hailing from different parts of the country, these experts provide participating companies advice and guidance on the design of a part as well as the opportunities in adopting AM to their process.
One of the primary goals of the program is for Canada’s industry to learn about the cost savings associated with AM, and how best they can take advantage of the main areas where AM excels at; light-weighting of parts, parts consolidation and complexity of design, the sweet-spots for metal AM.
“Certain parts do not make sense to use additive manufacturing for, not all problems can be solved through 3D printing but plenty can,” added Defalco. “It is knowing were to use this powerful new tool and that is what we are trying to do with this program.”
Be they SMEs or larger corporations, AM is changing how we build things and this program is there to help them learn about the disruptions coming to their sector but also de-risks their initial trials of this exciting technology. The results will create awareness and encourage the adoption of AM technology, thus improving Canada’s manufacturing and exporting sectors and our global competitiveness, resulting in new technology skills and increased employment opportunities in Canada.
Since the start of the program, late 2014, Canada Makes engaged with over 200 Canadian companies and over this time we reported on some of the successful projects. Here are some of the successful projects reported on over the past few years. Starting with the recent article The future of manufacturing for the energy sector is being redefined, Onstream’s Director of Technology Stephen Westwood said this about their experience with the program. “Whilst 3D printing is almost competitive on existing parts the benefits are truly reaped when designing new parts. The hard part becomes letting go of your prejudices regarding what can and can not be made based on years of experiences with machining.”
Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) Demonstration program completes first project
Back in 2015, Burloak Technologies completed the first project of the program, a spinner/impeller to be used in a production-logging tool to measure flow. For optimum efficiency it is important the part is as light as possible allowing an quicker change of speed when a change of flow is detected. As well the part needs to be chemical resistant to improve corrosion resistance to the well fluid encountered in hostile environments.
Precision ADM, Melet Plastics & Canada Makes partner on conformal cooling project
Precision ADM recently completed a conformal cooling mold project that developed an improved “Venturi Cup” for Melet Plastics. One of the major factors contributing to the deformation of molded plastic parts is a lack of uniform heat distribution throughout molds. Various areas of the final part created by a mold cool at different rates creating internal stresses and deformations.
Canada Makes, Fusia & MDA team up for space-bound part
Various satellite manufacturers are using additive manufacturing to reduce the cost and time required to build spacecraft parts. 3D printing offers new possibilities for manufacturers of satellites. The building of parts with additive manufacturing allows new capabilities not available using conventional manufacturing, although it can be expensive and difficult so it is crucial to use the technology correctly where it offers true benefits. The parts are spacecraft interface brackets for an antenna and been optimised for a flight project.
P&G and AMM partner with Canada Makes’ Metal Additive Demonstration Program
Procter & Gamble Belleville Plant partnered with Additive Metal Manufacturing Inc. (AMM) and Canada Makes to explore building new customized parts using additive manufacturing (AM). The example piece of work is printed to serve the combined purposes to deliver fluid to designated locations with the four extended legs while minimizing disturbance to the flow that it merges in. The vast metallurgy choices also provide a wide spectrum of chemical/environmental resistance. This illustrated part was printed in Stainless Steel taking advantage of its good anti-corrosion performance.
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the majority of the businesses participating in the program. Under the current challenging economic conditions and with strong competition from low-cost countries, SMEs are interested in adapting advanced manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing, to improve their competitiveness. NRC-IRAP’s financial support enables Canada Makes to work with these SMEs to organize projects and build momentum in Canada, allowing companies to see the advantages of AM technologies and improve the performance of our manufacturers to compete globally.
Canada Makes intends to continue offering this program if the powers that be agree. We hope to confirm this in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep returning to Canada Makes’ website or subscribe to our newsletter (see home page to subscribe) and stay informed about Canada’s AM sector.
Through the delivery of the program, it quickly became apparent that newcomers engaged to participate in this emerging technology shared many of the same questions and concerns. Therefore, Canada Makes developed, with its partners, two interactive guides the Metal Additive Process Guide & Metal Additive Design Guide designed to assist businesses new to metal AM who want to learn about process and designing for metal AM. The Guides are easy to use, interactive and offer useful information for the adoption of this technology.
Access is free although we request that you register. Thank you and enjoy!
If you are interested in the program, please contact