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Additive Manufacturing 101: What is it?

Image: Centre for Additive Manufacturing - The University of Nottingham

Image: Centre for Additive Manufacturing – The University of Nottingham

  Mechanical Design Engineer and Additive Manufacturing Ph.D. student

This is a series of original articles that will help you understand the origins of the technology that is commonly called 3D printing. First an introduction, followed by the seven main technologies categories, and then a design philosophy for additive manufacturing.

Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM) has been called the next Industrial revolution[1]–[3]. It is a recent technology that encompasses a wide range of different processes and materials. It is changing industries like aerospace by adjusting how engineers think about designing complex parts[4]–[6]. This revolution can take designs that have gone unchanged for decades and improve them.

AM was first conceived of in the 1970s with the first parts made in the 1980s and has had many names over the years.

  • Layer manufacturing or LM[7]
  • Rapid manufacturing or RM[8]
  • Rapid tooling[7]
  • Rapid prototyping or RP[8]
  • Laser rapid prototyping[9]
  • Solid freeform fabrication or SFF[10]
  • Direct digital manufacturing or DDM[11]
  • 3D printing or 3DP[12]

Initially, AM was used as a tool to create prototypes much more rapidly than could be done by other means and aided in the development of bringing new products to market[13], [14]. It then helped create tooling, tooling inserts, jigs and fixtures that were used in the manufacturing of end-use parts[7], [8]. It has continued to evolve and now is being used in making end-use parts such as low-volume production plastic casings, high-end consumer in-ear music monitors, GE LEAP jet engine fuel nozzles, and SpaceX SuperDraco rocket engine chambers and Falcon 9 main oxidizer valve bodies which have gone into space.

While AM has been around for three decades, it has yet to be utilized in the manufacturing of electric motors. Since the late 1800s, electric motors have seen only a small number of improvements, most of which have come from new and improved materials and new manufacturing techniques[15]–[18]. Yet the core design of motors has been relatively unchanged [19]–[21]. There is an evident opportunity to research how AM can change electric motor design. AM has the potential to produce new electric motors that can increase motor efficiencies and power densities.

Review of Additive Manufacturing

There are many different types of AM processes. Each has specific strengths and capabilities with unique areas of specialization. Regardless of the process, there are some fundamental principles that all follow.

Subtractive manufacturing usually starts out with a solid chunk of material that is larger than the final desired shape or part. Then using different tools, material is removed (or subtracted) until the final shape or part is achieved. It is important to note that casting is not considered additive or subtractive, but rather a formative process, as an existing mould or pattern is needed to create the final part.

Compared to subtractive, AM works in the opposite way. Instead of removing material to get the final desired shape or part, material is added to a build platform bit by bit. Most forms of AM follow these basic steps:

  1. Take a 3D model
  2. Slice model into layers and generate computer code
  3. Print first 2D slice and supports (if needed)
  4. Increment height
  5. Print next layer
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 until finished
  7. Post process (if needed)

A minor exception to these steps is when an AM process can deposit material in three-dimensional space. It is then not limited to just printing 2D layers one at a time[22]–[25]. AM can be a faster and more economical way to make parts, especially when the part is complex and/or made from an expensive material. These steps are still quite broad and have many details that can provide deeper insight.

AM process steps

Step 1: 3D model

The process begins with a computer-generated 3D model of the desired final part. The model needs to be capable of being printed, which means that it needs to occupy a defined volume. The part can’t be a single surface with a wall thickness of zero. Once it has thickness and volume, it then needs to be an enclosed watertight solid. This means that if water is put in the interior volume of the model, there are no holes from the inside volume to the outside surface. Even objects like a Möbius band or Klein bottle[26] can be printed as long as the single surface is thickened to have a defined watertight volume.

Figure 1: Klein bottle and Mobius band show a surface with no thickness[26]

Once the model is generated correctly, it needs to be saved to a specific file format. These specific file formats are needed in order for it to be prepared properly for printing. Thus it needs to be saved as either an STL file[27], AMF file[28] or 3MF file[29]. The STL file format has been the de facto standard since it was created in the late 1980s. However, it does have limitations which cause some problems. It does not store the units of measurement of the original model so they need to be assumed. Also, the file size becomes very large when trying to save a model with a high level of surface curvature. In response to these limitations, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) introduced the AMF file format in 2011. Then in 2013, Microsoft intended to do the same with its own 3MF format. This format became natively supported in all Windows operating systems since Windows 8.1. 3MF has since garnered considerable support from large companies such as HP, 3D Systems, Stratasys, GE, Siemens, Autodesk and Dassault Systems although it is unknown how many actively use this file format. Thus STL is still the file format of choice for almost all 3D printing. However, a newly signed liaison agreement between ASTM and the 3MF Consortium may bridge some differences between AMF and 3MF and create one new standard file format to replace STL.

Step 2: Prepare for printing

Secondly, special software is needed to turn that 3D model into data that a 3D printer can recognize and use. This usually involves cutting or slicing the model into many digital layers. Each layer is then converted into either a 2D image or into a set of 2D tool paths. The spacing between these slices will determine the printed thickness of the layers that will be seen in the final part. These layers partially determine the final surface quality and surface roughness of the final part, as well as how long the part will take to print. This height is an important compromise between print speed and surface quality, thus they are generally very thin. An average across several processes is around 100 µm or 0.1mm[11]. Depending on the AM process, the range of layer heights is vast. In two-photon polymerization, layer features as small as 40nm or 0.00004mm[30] can be created which is smaller than the wavelength of ultraviolet light[31]. Microwave sintering can create layers up to 5cm or 50mm in depth[32]. Regardless, when working in a process, the thicker the layer, the faster the build speed but the rougher the exterior becomes. Hence layer height is a trade-off between speed and quality.

Figure 2: T shaped structure with supports[33]

Depending on the geometry of the model and the AM process involved, support structures may be needed[11]. These support structures anchor overhanging areas of the final part to the build platform or other solid portions of the part. Imagine printing a 3D letter “T” starting from the bottom moving up to the top. The 3D printer would be able to print the main body of the letter without any issue. But as soon as it gets to the top, it would have a significant challenge to print the rest properly. The reason being there is nothing that would support the outreached arms of the letter. Thus some type of support structure is needed to be built up at the same time as the main body. When it reaches the point to print the arms, it would then be able to print on top of the main body and the support structure. An alternative option is to design the part for AM so that it does not need supports. For example, if the arms of the “T” were angled upward from the main body, the main body then becomes the support structure. The part would look more like the letter “Y”. Thus the letter Y could be considered a 3D print-optimized version of the letter T that doesn’t need support.

Steps 3-6: Printing

The specifics of printing depend on the process involved and will be described in much more detail further on in the report. Regardless, the 3D printer uses the computer code generated in the previous step to create an initial solid layer of material onto a build surface. The build surface could be a solid platform onto which the part is printed or a layer of unsolidified material that will support the part. This first layer is the first slice of the original 3D model that was calculated by the computer software in step two. Once the first layer is printed, the machine increments to the next height ready to print the next layer. This new height corresponds to the second slice of the original 3D model. The printer then creates a new solid layer based on that second slice. This new solid layer bonds to the previous layer making it one solid piece. The process repeats layer by layer until the final layer is finished. If the bonds between layers are weak, the build could fail or result in a structurally weak part. These anisotropic material properties can manifest as a weaker bond between layers than within layers[34]–[36] but can lead to beneficial properties for magnetic applications[37]. There are some processes strategies[38], [39] and research projects[40] that are addressing this concern with strength.

Step 7: Post-process

Finally, once a part is finished, it is removed from the build chamber and post-processed. This post process could take any number of forms. Some processes require removing support materials[8], [41]. A few need to post cure the material to ensure a fully solid part[42]. Laser melted parts need heat treating to relieve internal stresses that build up in the build process[43]. Binder jetted parts can be placed in an oven to remove a sacrificial binder used in printing. Others are placed in ovens and sintered to increase the strength and density of the part[44]. Infiltrants like glues or metals can be added to give more strength and higher density to the part[42], [44]. Parts can undergo a chemical reaction to change the material for different material properties[45]. Parts can be smoothed by chemicals[42], by blasting or tumbling to remove layer lines. Or parts can have some artistic flourish through hand painting, hydrographics[46], or even electroplating.

Methods and processes

Only recently was a standard designed for classifying the different ways something can be made using AM. In 2009, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) created a committee to define standards in AM technology[47]. In 2010 they defined seven main technologies used in AM. This was given the standard designation: F2792–12a[48]. As of December 2015, these ASTM standards were replaced with a new standard. ASTM joined with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to form ISO/ASTM 52900:2015[49]. Despite having seven uniquely defined categories, there are many different processes within each category. Regardless, the overall method and the underlying principles discussed previously still apply. Variance exists only with the materials, deposition of layers, and methods of adhesion.

These seven categories will be explored in depth with their:

  • definition
  • alternate industrial or trade names
  • a brief history
  • description of method and materials
  • advantages and disadvantages

These seven categories are (in alphabetical order):

  1. binder jetting
  2. directed energy deposition
  3. material extrusion
  4. material jetting
  5. powder bed fusion
  6. sheet lamination
  7. vat photopolymerization

The following are some common terms that are used when talking about these processes. They come from the ISO/ASTM definitions and are used throughout the seven category descriptions[49].

3D printer: the machine used for 3D printing.

Build chamber: the enclosed location within the 3D printer where the parts are fabricated.

Build platform: a base which provides a surface upon which the building of the part is started and supported throughout the build process.

Build space: the location where it is possible for parts to be fabricated, typically within the build chamber or on a build platform.

Build surface: the area where material is added, normally on the last deposited layer or for the first layer, the build surface is often the build platform.

Build volume: the total usable volume available in the machine for building parts.

References:

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[40]  S. Fathi, P. Dickens, R. Hague, K. Khodabakhshi, and M. Gilbert, “Jetting of Reactive Materials for Additive Manufacturing of Nylon Parts,” in Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies and Digital Fabrication (NIP 25), Louisville, Kentucky, USA, 2009, vol. 2009, no. 2, pp. 784–787.

[41]  S. S. Crump, J. W. Comb, W. R. Priedeman Jr, and R. L. Zinniel, “Process of support removal for fused deposition modeling,” U.S. Patent 5,503,785, 02-Apr-1996.

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[43]  E. Brandl, U. Heckenberger, V. Holzinger, and D. Buchbinder, “Additive manufactured AlSi10Mg samples using Selective Laser Melting (SLM): Microstructure, high cycle fatigue, and fracture behavior,” Materials & Design, vol. 34, pp. 159–169, Feb. 2012.

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Canada Makes’ Metal Additive Demonstration Program to successfully conclude

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.

Onstream-PIG

Onstream Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG)

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.”

spinner/impeller

spinner/impeller

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.

Design improved “Venturi Cup” for Melet Plastics

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.

MDA spacecraft interface brackets for an antenna

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.

Procter & Gamble Stainless Steel AM part

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!

Metal Additive Design GuideMetal Additive Process Guide

If you are interested in the program, please contact
Frank Defalco
frank.defalco@cme-mec.ca
(613) 875-1674

InnoTech Alberta joins Canada Makes

Canada Makes is pleased to announce InnoTech Alberta as its newest member. InnoTech Alberta offers facilities to support technology scale-ups and a range of testing capabilities. Both Canada Makes and InnoTech Alberta share a common goal of helping accelerate technology development that serves diverse sectors of the economy, making this partnership a winning proposition.

“The addition of InnoTech Alberta offers Canada Makes a strong link in Alberta and we welcome the expertise they bring to our network,” said Frank Defalco, Manager, Canada Makes. “This new partnership between Canada Makes and InnoTech Alberta will help bridge knowledge and expertise with companies looking to innovate and adopt additive manufacturing.”

“InnoTech Alberta is supporting Alberta industries to grow additive manufacturing capability to revolutionize innovation and enhance product performance,” said Tonya Wolfe, Senior Metallurgical Engineer, InnoTech Alberta. “The goal is to de-risk the technology and provide local manufacturers with the necessary tools to integrate additive manufacturing in their production streams. Being a part of the Canada Makes family will further support Albertan companies to be competitive.”

Canada Makes supports InnoTech Alberta as it looks to attract the world’s most innovative companies to the province with initiatives like the recently announced $10 million investment to help create the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC). The new facility will test breakthrough technologies that convert CO2 from harmful emissions into applications for everyday use. Additive manufacturing can play a big role in helping ACCTC accomplish these goals by offering powerful new tools and innovative solutions.

About InnoTech Alberta
InnoTech Alberta, a subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, offers a diversified range of scientific, engineering and technological research and testing capabilities, and the facilities to support technology scale-up.

Their multi-disciplinary team has the depth of experience to work across all sectors, from energy to health to food and fibre.

InnoTech Alberta offers you access to research talent, technical expertise, and unique facilities that can help accelerate technology development that serves both the private and public sector. innotechalberta.ca

About Canada Makes

Canada Makes, a Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative. CME is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing (AM) in Canada. It is an enabler and accelerator of AM-adoption in Canada.

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Canada Makes leads trade mission to Formnext Germany Nov.13 – 17

Canada MakesNext week, starting November 14th Canada Makes will be leading its third additive manufacturing (AM) trade mission since 2016. This time it is to Formnext in Frankfurt, Germany. Formnext is the leading trade fair for Additive Manufacturing and the next generation of intelligent manufacturing solutions. It focuses on the efficient realization of parts and products, from their design to serial production. Formnext shows the future of innovative manufacturing.

Canada Makes’ trade mission to Formnext offers our delegates an unrivalled opportunity to learn about this rapidly expanding technology. Delegates meet, learn and build strong relationships during the mission. Past missions have highlighted the importance these relationships have in forging future partnerships and initiatives in building Canada’s AM sector.

Joining Canada Makes in Frankfurt Germany are Equispheres inc., CAMufacturing Solutions inc., Precision ADM, Linamar, Reko International Group Inc., NRC, CRIQ, Kilmarnock Enterprise, Plasai and Red River College.

Canada Makes would like to thank the following companies for agreeing to meet with our delegation.

Canada Makes Formnext Agenda

Tuesday

Nov. 14

11:00 – 12:00 EOS booth 3.1-G50
Tuesday

Nov. 14

14:30 – 15:30 Fraunhofer booth 3.0-F50
Wednesday

Nov. 15

11:00 – 12:00 Additive Industries

Hall 3.0, booth 3.0-F40

Wednesday

Nov. 15

14:30 – 16:00 Renishaw booth 3.1-E68
Wednesday

Nov. 15

13:00 – 14:30 TRUMPFT Booth 3.0-E50
Thursday

Nov.16

 14:00 – 14:30 SLM Solutions Booth 3.0-E70
Thursday

Nov.16

 15:00 – 15:30 Impact Innovations booth 3.0-A50
Thursday

Nov.16

 15:00 – 15:30 BeAM booth 3.0-B40
Nov. 17 10:00 – 10:30 Formnext EOS booth 3.1-G50

Canada Makes congratulates AP&C on receiving ISO13485 certification

AP&CCanada Makes would like to congratulate its partner AP&C in receiving ISO13485 certification. Advanced Powders & Coatings (AP&C), a subsidiary of Arcam AB and a GE Additive Company, is the world’s largest producer of titanium powder for additive applications.  The ISO13485 is particularly designated for the orthopedic implant industry. In addition to the new ISO13485 certification, AP&C is already certified to ISO9001 and AS9100.

“The ISO13485 certification proves our firm’s commitment in producing quality powder to the industries we serve. With the certifications and our recently inaugurated new state of the art powder manufacturing plant we are well positioned to serve our customer’s needs”,
says Alain Dupont, President of AP&C.

“The demand for high-end titanium powder is driven by the accelerated growth and industry adaptation of Additive Manufacturing. Arcam, AP&C and GE Additive are committed to disrupt conventional manufacturing and help the industry evolve into Additive Manufacturing by offering high quality and cost-effective solutions. This ISO13485 certification is one more step into the future of Additive Manufacturing”, says Magnus René, CEO of Arcam.

AP&C just recently inaugurated its new cutting-edge facility in Saint-Eustache, Québec. The manufacturing plant will welcome 106 new employees by the end of the year, making it one of the largest employers in the region and marking a significant growth for AP&C, which has quadrupled in size over the last two years.

About AP&C (Advanced Powders & Coatings Inc.)
AP&C, a subsidiary to Arcam AB, a GE Additive company has over the past 10 years developed extensive experience working in the production of metallic powders used in additive manufacturing (3D printing). AP&C is specialized in the production of high purity titanium metal powders used in various metallurgical applications: additive manufacturing (3D printing), injection molding, isostatic pressing and coatings. The company mainly serves the aerospace and biomedical markets. There are nearly 175 employees working at AP&C’s facilities in Boisbriand and Saint-Eustache, Québec.

Coffee lovers create portable pour-over kettle on NAIT 3D printer

Pursuit of the perfect cup leads to a prototype and a new business venture

The pour-over may be one of the simplest yet most appreciated brewing methods among coffee connoisseurs. In boutique cafés, baristas add water to cones of gourmet grounds placed over cups, extracting maximum flavour and richness. Discerning customers happily wait from 2-and-a-half to 4 minutes for their caffeine kick.

Edmonton entrepreneurs Matthew Semaka and Steven Osterlund wanted to enjoy that same experience – and coffee – outside the café. “We talked about being able to go to the river valley and make a cup of nice coffee with a small kit,” says Osterlund. “It has just kind of grown from there.”

With the help of NAIT’s 3D metal printer – the only one west of Winnipeg – the pair has developed a one-of-a-kind, insulated kettle specifically designed for the perfect, portable pour-over. It’s a back-to-basics approach to coffee-making that might provide a new entry point into a market worth $6.2 billion in Canada alone.

“Coffee is a huge, huge industry – manual brew is just exploding,” says Osterlund.

prototype pour-over coffee kettles made on NAIT's 3D metal printer by Edmonton entrepreneurs Matthew Semaka and Steven Osterlund

The art of the pour-over

Originating in Japan, the pour-over is almost meditative in practice: pouring a slow, steady stream of water heated to a particular temperature over a precise amount of perfectly ground beans. It’s also effective in ways other manual brew methods aren’t, as fresh water is continuously added to the coffee, essentially releasing the flavour out of the bean and into the cup.

“Heat consistency and stability is important while conducting a manual coffee extraction,” says Semaka.

Semaka and Osterlund knew that there were good kettles – featuring the distinctive, slender gooseneck spout required for the technique – already on the market. But many had plastic components that would melt when heated over a fire or outdoor stove and were too bulky to be portable. The only solution they could see was to make their own.

After a chance meeting with Paul Dews, NAIT’s manager of innovation support services, they discovered they could do just that through the polytechnic’s TechGym. There, they had access to equipment for prototyping and small-scale manufacturing, including the printer, which makes objects by depositing layer upon layer of metal.

Osterlund wasn’t surprised that NAIT had a 3D metal printer. He was, however, “more surprised that us, just being members of the public, were able to come in and utilize it.”

The team drafted a couple of computer-generated designs and by January 2017 had their first printed stainless-steel prototype. It took 3 days to print, and weighed just over 1 kilogram. But it was the start they needed. In March, Semaka and Osterlund incorporated as Ketl Lab.

coffee pour-over kettle made by Edmonton entrepreneurs Matthew Semaka and Steven Osterlund on NAIT's 3d metal printer

Pursuit of the perfect cup

Two versions later, the kettle has changed substantially. It’s now about one-fifth the initial weight and more compact. The handle has been made unnecessary thanks to innovative insulation (the same used by NASA) that keeps the exterior cool while heating water faster and holding a consistent temperature.

The potential applications have evolved as well. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the country’s largest trade and industry association, believes the technology could also be used in hospitals or on construction sites.

Much of the work so far has been made possible by grants from Canada Makes, a CME network dedicated to promoting additive manufacturing in Canada. NAIT was instrumental in introducing Ketl Lab to this program, says Semaka.

Now, what began as a hobby and was nurtured in a lab at NAIT, may soon be a marketable reality. The fourth – and potentially last – kettle prototype is in the works, with tweaks that may include a Bluetooth monitoring system. While it’s possible a product may be ready for sale within a year, the team won’t rush it.

The company’s focus, Osterlund says, is on “getting it right than getting it released.”

Time may be on their side. “What we are doing is not on the market today – it doesn’t exist,” says Semaka. Their potential customers, too, are likely the patient kind. Like a perfect pour-over coffee, good things are worth the wait.

SOURCE – Words: Amanda Stadel | Images: Blaise van Malsen

Join Canada Makes as a delegate for AM trade mission to Formnext in Germany

Canada Makes is looking for delegates interested in joining a trade mission to the Formnext trade-show in Frankfurt Germany this coming November 14 to 17th. The four-day fact-finding mission will focus on additive manufacturing (AM) and offer the opportunity to meet with leading AM industries stakeholders.

Formnext is the leading AM trade-show and the next generation of intelligent manufacturing solutions and will provide a European perspective. It focuses on the efficient realization of parts and products, from their design to serial production. See cutting-edge technologies your company can leverage to gain a competitive edge and the latest expertise that can help in reducing your time-to-market. For more about Formnext click here.

Trade missions are about opening doors, gaining insights, business-to business contacts, information and tools for Canadian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Join Canada Makes as a delegate and take full advantage of the benefits. Only a limited number of spaces are available on a first-come-first serve basis. Interested parties or for more information please contact Frank Defalco frank.defalco@cme-mec.ca
Canada Makes will:

  • Set the agenda
  • Admission to the event
  • Offer logistical support
  • Arrange networking meetings with leading AM companies
  • Arrange market briefing from Canada’s German trade commissioner

In addition to your own travel and accommodation costs, Canada Makes/CME will charge an administration fee of $500.

Martin Petrak, President and CEO of Precision ADM, had this to say about trade missions. “The Canada Makes trade mission to Germany was a great way for our company to connect with international additive manufacturing leaders. Being part of the delegation also gave us the opportunity to meet with other Canadian companies interested in collaborating on national and international business opportunities.”

Last year Canada Makes organized two successful trade missions to Germany and the UK. The knowledge and connections gained are proving invaluable to its participants. View past postings on the trade missions.

Canada Makes’ UK trade mission successfully concludes
Canada Makes’ trade mission to Germany

About CME
CME is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. Founded in 1871, CME represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide, and – through various initiatives, including the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition – touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, international trade, and service-related industries.

About Canada Makes
A CME initiative, Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. For more on Canada Makes, please visit canadamakes.ca

Edmit Industries joins Canada Makes

Canada Makes is pleased to welcome Edmit Industries as a new member. Since 2008, the Chateauguay Quebec based Edmit has been working with metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology and developing unique ways of combining it with their other core competencies, allowing them to provide significant value added to their clients.Edmit

“We here at Edmit are looking forward to being part of Canada Makes’ network to promote the use of innovative manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing AM and meeting potential contacts whom we can develop and ultimately manufacture products,” said Sergio Armano, President Edmit Industries.

“Edmit is one of the first companies, if not the first, in Canada to acquire metal AM technology,” said Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “We are looking forward to continue working closely with them in bringing their considerable capabilities to Canadian companies.”

“Edmit’s mission is to support clients to design products for the manufacturing process that best meets theirs requirements,” added Armano. “We assist them through the development and prototyping process, and ultimately receive the mandate to manufacture the product.”

Canada Makes recently reported on a project undertaken with Edmit Industries Inc. and MDA to build 3D printed Titanium parts for an innovative graphite strut structure for flight application. For more on the additive manufacturing (AM) project go to – CANADA MAKES, EDMIT & MDA TEAM UP FOR INNOVATIVE SPACE APPLICATION PARTS.

MDA-Edmit-2

3D Printed Titanium Bracket and Hub for a Satellite Graphite Strut Structure, fabricated by Edmit Industries

About Edmit
Edmit is a small-to-medium size company specializing in the manufacturing of high-end precision components and assemblies. As Innovators and researchers, EDMIT provides leading edge and innovative methods and concepts. With more than 35 years of expertise, Edmit specializes in metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) of precision metal parts for the aerospace, space and medical industries and are a key partner for research and development projects for space application. edmitinc.com

About Canada Makes
A Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative, Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. For more information on Canada Makes, please visit www.canadamakes.ca

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ICTC Releases Additive Manufacturing: The Impending Talent Paradigm

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The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) announces the release of its latest report, Additive Manufacturing: The Impending Talent Paradigm.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) (often referred to as 3D Printing) is a transformative technology that is dramatically reshaping the manufacturing industry—much in the way Uber redefined the taxi industry and Netflix disrupted the media industry.

AM is rapidly growing worldwide and is now fully recognized for its massive potential in almost every market, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and robotics, just to name a few. With new modeling techniques, applications, and a variety of printable materials, AM has transitioned, in a short number of years, from a prototype technology to an integral pillar of automated manufacturing.

It is projected that the AM market will be around $17.7 billion globally in three years, and that in the next five years the manufacturing industry will look substantially different than it does today. Such rapid change brings both opportunities and challenges to businesses, workers and policymakers.

Skilled talent is the essence of any high performing economy. The rise and adoption of AM across all industries has increased the demand for highly skilled talent in this space and has left businesses searching for better talent development and recruitment strategies.

The evidence-based analysis and recommendations in this report are intended to inform policymakers, industry and educators about the labour market impact of AM development across Canada, the state of the talent supply and demand, and how best to engage, attract and retain the necessary highly-skilled talent.  The overarching goal is to place Canada in a position to meet its digital talent requirements to be competitive in the global digital economy.

“Additive manufacturing is the new frontier for advanced and smarter industries, raising the prospects of a more competitive economy. In this rapidly developing landscape, tomorrow’s talent strategies will need to be as distributive as the technologies transforming the industries.” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

For any questions, please contact Maryna Ivus, Senior Research Analyst, at m.ivus@ictc-ctic.ca.

To view the report, please click here.

Burloak Advances Heat Exchanger Technology

Paris, France – June 20, 2017 – Burloak Technologies, a leading Canadian additive manufacturing company, and part of the family of Samuel companies, has announced the successful completion of the first stage in the development of a new heat exchanger technology. This additive manufactured design demonstrated 44 per cent lower thermal resistance over existing designs in a controlled test. “After extensive research and many months of design simulation, the successful completion of the live experiment on Burloak’s test bed validates our design hypothesis.” stated company president Peter Adams. “We will now apply these design principals to delivering custom, thermal-management solutions to our customers.”

The objective for electronic enclosures cooling is to maintain the temperature of the semiconductor components inside within their operating range. It is typical that a few components generate the majority of heat, and it is those components that the cooling design should target. Additive manufacturing enables intricate cooling channels to be created in such a manner that maximizes heat dissipation while also targeting specific areas of the enclosure.

Burloak’s research team has modelled, built and tested many, novel geometries that can only be produced using additive manufacture and have developed a comprehensive, engineering database to create the design rules that enable the heat transfer improvements. Burloak will be displaying several of the new heat exchanger designs at the 2017 Paris Air Show and will have experts on hand to discuss specific projects at the Industry Canada Showcase Hall 3/D70 and at Samuel’s Chalet (by invitation B19).

To set up a meeting during PAS2017 to discuss your business requirements, please contact: aerospace@samuel.com or sales@burloaktech.com.

ABOUT BURLOAK TECHNOLOGIES

Burloak Technologies, part of the family of Samuel companies, is a leading supplier of highly-engineered additive manufacturing solutions for clients with demanding applications in high-tech industries worldwide. Burloak delivers high quality, lightweight, fully functional additive manufactured parts for low to medium volume applications across a range of industries including: space, aerospace, defense, energy, medical, automotive, and transportation. In-house engineering, manufacturing and metrology capabilities make Burloak one of the few full-service suppliers in the industry. Together with its clients, Burloak works to re-create component and process specifications and move additive manufacturing from a prototyping technology to a certified production technology. www.burloaktech.com

ABOUT SAMUEL, SON & CO.

Founded in 1855, Samuel, Son & Co. is a family-owned and operated, integrated network of metal manufacturing, processing and distribution divisions. With over 4,800 employees and 100+ facilities, Samuel provides seamless access to metals, industrial products and related value-added services. Supporting over 40,000 customers, we leverage our industry expertise, breadth of experience and the passion of our people to help drive success for North American business – one customer at a time. www.samuel.com