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Additive Manufacturing Alberta Workshop

InnoTech Alberta, in conjunction with Canada Makes and the University of Alberta, is hosting a two-day workshop addressing Additive Manufacturing in Alberta.

How do we work together to become more innovative and competitive?  What tools do we need to adopt?  What changes do we need to make?

The first day is a training course presented by AddWorks from GE Additive.  The full day course will discuss the concepts and tools necessary to adopt additive manufacturing.

The second day highlights a number of invited speakers and panelists to showcase their best practices in adoption of additive manufacturing.

This event is targeted towards designers, engineers, fabricators, innovators, and owners.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Registration and continental breakfast – 8am
Course – 9am-4pm

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Registration and continental breakfast – 8am
Workshop – 8:45am-4pm
Reception, Trade Show, Poster Presentation – 4-5pm

Cost includes:  workshops and all meals (breakfast, lunch, reception and coffee breaks)

Location – Alberta Innovates/InnoTech Alberta, 250 Karl Clark Road, Edmonton, AB

Register https://am-alberta.eventbrite.ca

Innotech Alberta  

InnoTech Alberta, in conjunction with the University of Alberta and Canada Makes, is hosting a two-day workshop addressing Additive Manufacturing in Alberta.

  • How do we work together to become more innovative and competitive?
  • What tools do we need to adopt?
  • What changes do we need to make?

The first day is a training course presented by Addworks™ at GE Additive. The full day course will discuss the concepts and tools necessary to adopt additive manufacturing.

The second day highlights a number of invited speakers and panelists to showcase their best practices in adoption of additive manufacturing.

This event is targeted towards designers, engineers, fabricators, innovators, and company owners.

*Earlybird discounts are in effect until Sept. 15th.

*Ticket price includes continental breakfast and hot lunch (please contact the organizer if you have special dietary requirements)

Day 1: Learning Seminar – Wednesday, October 10 (9:00AM-4:00PM)

Breakfast and Registration start at 8:00am

Presented by: Valeria Proano Cadena, Lead Engineer, Addworks™ at GE Additive and Joe Hampshire, Product Strategy Leader, Addworks™ at GE Additive


Best practices for your Additive Journey – Design, Process Selection, and Materials


As organizations begin to adopt additive technology, they quickly realize that it takes different thinking, tools and processes to be successful in using additive in production-level manufacturing. In this workshop, Addworks™ at GE Additive will cover key concepts and best practices they use on a daily basis for its production of additive parts.

AddWorks is GE Additive’s engineering consulting team that helps companies with additive part development and production in the automotive, aviation and energy/power industries. Regardless of how simple or complex, AddWorks can help you navigate your additive journey and find a path most beneficial to your goals. GE Additive started their own additive journey over 4 years ago and is now the #1 additive user in the world.

The following outlines learning objectives for this workshop:

  1. Real-life use case examples of additive manufacturing
  2. Design best practices including requirements, conceptual design, process selection, producibility and FastWorks
  3. An overview of the material development process where machine parameters in combination with post processing drive the material properties and performance
  4. An overview of additive manufacturing processes and the various additive technologies
  5. An overview of the GE Additive innovation process used for the Additive Manufacturing
  6. Cost modeling considerations and methods for additive components.

Day 2: Workshop – Thursday, October 11, 2018 (8:45AM – 4:00PM)

Breakfast and Registration start at 8:00am

Join us after the Workshop for a reception, tradeshow, and poster presentations (starts at 4:00pm).

Keynote Speaker:

Disrupting the Disruption: How GE Additive is Pushing the Boundaries of AM, Joe Hampshire, Addworks™ at GE Additive

Invited Speakers:

  • Mark Ramsden, Director, Business Performance and Innovation, Worley Parsons
  • Ian Klassen, Director, Aerospace Sales and Business Development, Precision ADM
  • Dr. Dan Thoma, Director of Additive Network, University of Wisconsin
  • Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, Director, Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence, University of New Brunswick
  • Tharwat Fouad, President, Anubis 3D

Panel Discussions

Opportunities of Additive Manufacturing for the Energy Industry

Chair: Dr. Ehsan Toyserkani, University of Waterloo

  • Stefano Chiovelli, Syncrude Canada
  • Carl Weatherell, Canadian Mining Innovation Council
  • Philip Leung, Halliburton
  • Tyler Romanyk, Halliburton

Challenging the Status Quo in Alberta Manufacturing – a Small Business Perspective

Chair: Frank Delfaco, Canada Makes

  • Billy Rideout, Exergy
  • Darryl Short, Karma Machine
  • James Janeteas, Cimetrix
  • Kyle Hermenean, Machina Corp

Student Poster Presentation – Thursday, October 11

Students are invited to present their research using poster format. The best poster will be selected by an industry-academia-government committee and awarded a prize of $250.

Maximum size is 36” Tall x 48” wide.

Please contact Dr. Bogno (bogno@ualberta.ca) to submit your name, group, poster title/abstract, or for any poster related inquiries.

Students are required to submit a title and an abstract (max 200 words) of their poster. Deadline for submission is September 24.

Students must register for the Thursday event to submit a poster, although students are also welcome to register for the Wednesday event.

Posters should be submitted by Tuesday, October 9 at noon to Dr. Bogno.


For addtional event details please contact:

Dr. Tonya Wolfe, InnoTech Alberta


Additive Manufacturing 101: How to (re)design your parts for Additive Manufacturing

(Image: 3D Hubs)

Redesigned concept of a carburetor (Image: Cassidy Silbernagel)

  Mechanical Design Engineer and Additive Manufacturing Ph.D. student

This is the final article in 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 (binder jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, vat photopolymerization) and now a design philosophy for additive manufacturing.

Design for Additive Manufacturing

All of these following principles differ greatly for each technology category. Some are not a concern, others are a major concern. Before you design for AM, you need to know which process you are designing for, and if possible, what machine it will be built upon. Each machine and even different materials differ on some of these aspects.

Supports / Overhangs

Each technology deals with this differently. Generally, there is a critical angle (typically 45 degrees) that allows no support to be needed such as in the letter Y. Some need supports for all bridges of a certain length such as the middle of a capital H. Others need supports for overhangs such as at the ends of a capital T. How supports are designed or generated and removed needs to be thought of in the design process. By changing or re-orientating the design, you can minimise the need for supports, and change how the supports are removed.


Two factors come into play for orientation. First is material properties can differ depending on the direction they are built. This shows some test bars I printed to test how build orientation affects the electrical resistivity of a metal alloy. Strength can differ depending on build orientation so if you have a part that needs to have a certain strength in a certain direction, you will need to know how the orientation affects the strength of the part.

Images: Marc Saunders

The second is that printed features can come out looking differently depending on orientation. If you have a circle you want to print and have it come out circular, you will need to orient the part so that the circle is in the XY plane and not chopped up by the layers.

Minimum feature size / Resolution

This greatly depends on the process you use, and especially the machine you use. Just because two machines from different manufacturers use the same technology, they may not have the same feature specifications. There are also many factors that play into minimum features, and each is different. Here you can see some of the minimum sizes for a typical SLS process in Nylon. This is where you need to find out the machine and material specific specifications if you want to be designing features in the submillimeter range.


There are many different ways post-processing can affect how you design. If the process relies on supports, they will need to be removed manually, or potentially semi-automatically. If attached to a build plate, the parts will need to be removed. If there is excess powder or liquid trapped, it will need to be removed. If you want uniform or enhanced material properties, a heat treatment or post infusing of a second material may be needed. If you have critical surfaces that assemble, post machining will be required including custom part holding jigs or fixtures. All of these need to be taken into consideration when designing in order to gain the greatest benefits from AM.

Four ways to (re)design parts

Method 1: Send directly for AM

Method 2: Modify for AM

Method 3: Combine and redesign for AM

Method 4: Rethink and redesign for AM

Method 1: Send directly for AM

The first and easiest is to simply take an existing design and without modification create it using AM technology. This is advantageous when the single part is excessively complex making it difficult to produce using traditional methods or made from materials that are expensive where minimal waste is desirable. This can also be desirable when the lead times for a part are excessively long or if the part is no longer manufactured.


  • Easiest
  • Less material wastage
  • Direct single part replacement
  • Potential faster lead times
  • Allows easier manufacture of complex design


  • Narrow scope of use
  • Limited potential gains

Method 2: Modify for AM

The second is to redesign the single part to either improve performance and/or to make the part better suited for AM.


  • Improve performance
  • Decrease weight
  • Improve printability
  • Direct single part replacement
  • Less material wastage


  • Requires same assembly methods and parts

Method 3: Combine and redesign for AM

The third is to combine multiple parts to aid in part reduction, reduce assembly costs, and enhance performance.

Before 3D printing, this fuel nozzle had 20 different pieces. Now, just one part, the nozzle is 25% lighter and five times more durable.


  • Allows reduction of parts
  • Reduce assembly
  • Potentially less risk than a complete redesign of overall machine/assembly


  • Requires more design time
  • Requires testing and validation

Method 4: Modify for AM

The fourth is to completely rethink the assembly and redesign according to basic first principles and design requirements. While this complete redesign can yield the greatest results, it takes the most time and effort to achieve.


Image: Optisys LLCThe test project involved a complete redesign of a high-bandwidth, directional tracking antenna array for aircraft (known as a Ka-band 4×4 monopulse array).

Reduce part count reduction from 100 discrete pieces to a one-piece device.

  • Cut weight by over 95%.
  • Reduce lead time 11 to two months. (eight months of development, three to six more of build time)
  • Reduce production costs by 20%.
  • Eliminate 75% of non-recurring costs.


  • Allows greatest performance increases
  • Eliminate parts and assembly
  • Reduce weight, cost, lead time


  • Most amount of design effort

Wohlers Associates deliver first ever DfAM session in Canada

Wohlers Associates, represented by Terry Wohlers and Olaf Diegel, delivered its first and successful session in Montreal, Quebec. The June 12-14 Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) course, sponsored by Canada Makes Partner CRIQ, was attended by bright and relatively young people experienced with CAD.

Participants came from a variety of sectors, including aerospace, industrial equipment and machinery, CAD and AM product sales and services, academia, government, and research. All with a common goal of of taking the next step in designing for AM. 

Terry Wohlers offered this about the session, “some of the participants said that they especially appreciated the hands-on topology optimization and lattice structure exercises. One participant stated that he attends many technical AM events and this one was, by far, one of the most valuable. Another said he appreciated that lead instructor Olaf Diegel spoke French, although most of the course was conducted in English.”

“Learning how to Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) is critical for maximizing the output from your Additive Equipment,” said participant Hargurdeep Singh Director of Additive Manufacturing CAD MicroSolutions Inc. “Terry Wohlers and Olaf Diegel presented an excellent demonstration of DfAM. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Generative Design and Part Consolidation exercises using hands-on learning techniques.”

The average score given by the participants was 4.9 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being best, so we were quite pleased with it.

Wohlers Associates will be holding another special three-day course on design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) in Frisco, Colorado August 8 to 10, 2018wohlersassociates.com/DfAM.html

Additive Manufacturing 101-7: What is vat photopolymerization?

(Image: 3D Hubs)

Vat Photopolymerization (Image: 3D Hubs)

  Mechanical Design Engineer and Additive Manufacturing Ph.D. student

This is the eighth article in 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 (binder jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, vat photopolymerization) and then a design philosophy for additive manufacturing.

Vat Photopolymerization

ISO/ASTM definition: “vat photopolymerization, —an additive manufacturing process in which liquid photopolymer in a vat is selectively cured by light-activated polymerization.”[1]

Vat photopolymerization can also be known as (in alphabetical order):

➢ Continuous Liquid Interface Production or CLIP[2]

➢ Scan, Spin and Selectively Photocure Technology or 3SP[3]

➢ Solid Ground Curing or SGC[4]

➢ Stereolithography or SL[5]

➢ Stereolithography Apparatus or SLA® (3D Systems Corporation)

➢ Two-Photon Polymerization or 2PP[6]

Stereolithography was the first AM process to be invented. The first patent was filed in 1975 which described a two-laser 2PP process[7]. The first parts were made by Dr. Hideo Kodama of Japan using SL in 1981[8]. Additional patents followed in 1984 when in three different parts of the world, people patented the SL processes. First on May 23 in Japan by Yoji Marutani[9], then on July 16 in France by Jean Claude André, Alain Le Méhauté and Olivier de Witte[10], and lastly on August 8 in the United States by Charles W. Hull[5]. Chuck Hull was the first to commercialize the technology when he founded 3D Systems in 1986. In 1988, 3D Systems commissioned Alberts Consulting Group to create a file format that could be sliced, resulting in the STL file format[11]. In 1991, Cubital introduced the Solid Ground Curing process but later ceased operations in 1999. In 2015 Carbon3D introduced a novel concept named CLIP using an oxygen-permeable bottom plate to help speed up the printing process. As the original patents surrounding this technology have lapsed, many startups have emerged taking advantage of this original AM process.

vat photopolymerization

vat photopolymerization example

Figure 1: Vat Polymerization example setup[12]

This process involves using a liquid resin as the main type of material. Specifically, this liquid resin has the special property of being able to become solid once it is exposed to light. This light can be ultraviolet as in SL processes, or for 2PP, with two photons of near-infrared (NIR) light hit within a very short period of time (several femtoseconds)[12]. This liquid resin is held in a container or vat, in which a flat build platform is partially submerged. This platform starts near the surface of the liquid and then gets exposed to light. This light can be a UV laser(SL), a digital light processing (DLP) projector, a UV light bulb filtered through a printed mask(SGC), an LCD screen similar to home theater projectors(CLIP), or even from very quick pulses (femtoseconds in length) of near infrared (NIR) laser light tightly focused to a very small area(2PP). Once the resin is cured and made solid, the build platform either moves further into the vat, or partially comes out of the vat leaving the solid cured portion just under the surface and then the process is repeated. In the case of SGC, the uncured resin is removed and then replaced with a liquid wax that solidifies, and then both the cured resin and wax is machined flat using a cutter and prepared for the next layer. If the process involves the platform coming out of the vat the resin needs to be transparent or have the solidification process occur at the very bottom of a vat with a clear window or bottom. However, this can cause the resin to solidify to the bottom which would prevent the platform from moving, or cause it to solidify so closely to the bottom that when the build platform moves up, significant suction is created which results in very slow movements. Recent developments by Carbon3D and the creation of the CLIP process have resulted in very quick builds due to the clear bottom acting as an oxygen permeable membrane which inhibits solidification of the resin within a certain zone around the clear bottom of the vat, which eliminates this suction force. This has shown to increase build speeds from 25-100 times compared to other AM processes, including SL.

Advantages to this type of AM are that it is capable of very high detail surface finish, even down to the nano-scale level, it can be very fast compared to other processes in terms of pure volume, and it’s also able to be scaled up to build desk-sized objects in very large vats.

Disadvantages include a limited number of material properties found in UV curable resins, which are not the most robust materials in terms of durability, strength, or stability. These resins can change shape over time, potentially change colour, and usually need a post-curing UV light oven to cure the material fully in order to get the most strength out of them. Some resins are also toxic and special gloves need to be used to handle parts until they are fully cured. Depending on the geometry of the part, support structures are required and can be very complex and require manual removal afterwards.


[1] “ISO/ASTM 52900:2015(en), Additive manufacturing — General principles — Terminology,” International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva, Switzerland, 2015.

[2] Tumbleston J. R., Shirvanyants D., Ermoshkin N., Janusziewicz R., Johnson A. R., Kelly D., Chen K., Pinschmidt R., Rolland J. P., Ermoshkin A., Samulski E. T., and DeSimone J. M., “Continuous liquid interface production of 3D objects,” Science, vol. 347, no. 6228, pp. 1349–1352, Mar. 2015.

[3] Groth C., Kravitz N. D., Jones P. E., Graham J. W., and Redmond W. R., “Three-dimensional printing technology.,” Journal of Clinical Orthodontics : JCO, vol. 48, no. 8, pp. 475–85, Aug. 2014.

[4] Levi H., “Accurate rapid prototyping by the solid ground curing technology,” in Proceedings of the 2nd Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 1991, pp. 110–114.

[5] Hull C. W., “Apparatus for production of three-dimensional objects by stereolithography,” U.S. Patent 4,575,330, 11-Mar-1986.

[6] Maruo S., Nakamura O., and Kawata S., “Three-dimensional microfabrication with two-photon-absorbed photopolymerization,” Optics Letters, vol. 22, no. 2, p. 132, Jan. 1997.

[7] Swanson W. K. and Kremer S. D., “Three dimensional systems,” U.S. Patent 4,078,229, 07-Mar-1978.

[8] Kodama H., “Automatic method for fabricating a three-dimensional plastic model with photo-hardening polymer,” Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 52, no. 11, p. 1770, 1981.

[9] Marutani Y., “Optical Shaping Method,” Japanese Patent 60,247,515, 07-Dec-1985.

[10] André J. C., Mehaute A. Le, and Witte O. de, “Device For Producing A Model Of An Industrial Part,” French Patent 2,567,668, 17-Jan-1986.

[11] Allison J., “Re: History of .stl format,” [Online email], 15-Jan-1997. [Online]. Available: http://www.rp-ml.org/rp-ml-1997/0091.html. [Accessed: 05-Feb-2016].

[12] Gibson I., Rosen D. W., and Stucker B., Additive Manufacturing Technologies. Boston, MA: Springer US, 2010.

Additive Manufacturing 101-6: What is sheet lamination?

(Image: 3D Hubs)

Material Jetting (Image: 3D Hubs)

  Mechanical Design Engineer and Additive Manufacturing Ph.D. student

This is the seventh article in 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 (binder jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, vat photopolymerization) and then a design philosophy for additive manufacturing.

Sheet Lamination

ISO/ASTM definition: “sheet lamination, —an additive manufacturing process in which sheets of material are bonded to form a part.”[1]

Sheet Lamination can also be known as (in alphabetical order):

➢ Computer-Aided Manufacturing of Laminated Engineering Materials or CAM-LEM[2]

➢ Laminated Object Manufacturing or LOM[3]

➢ Plastic Sheet Lamination or PSL (Solidimension Ltd.)

➢ Selective Deposition Lamination or SDL (Mcor Technologies Ltd.)

➢ Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing or UAM[4]

➢ Ultrasonic Consolidation or UC[5]

The LOM process was developed by a company named Helisys and in 1991 they started selling a machine that made 3D parts using rolls of paper and a CO2 laser[6]. The company eventually went bankrupt and later formed Cubic Technologies; however, in 1999, a company from Israel called Solidimension developed a system very similar to LOM using sheets of PVC plastic rather than paper[6]. Also in 1999, a USA company called Solidica (now Fabrisonic) patented a new hybrid method[7] which looked similar to LOM but used metal tapes and films which were joined using ultrasonic vibrations, and then a CNC machine used traditional subtractive manufacturing methods to remove material. In 2005, Japanese company Kira started production of a paper-based machine similar to LOM called the PLT-20 KATANA but using a steel cutter rather than a laser. By 2008 Mcor Technologies launched their first SDL machine called the Matrix which deposited individual sheets of A4 paper rather than rolls of paper like LOM or Kira and selectively glued down sheets which were then cut using a steel cutter. This process allowed Mcor to later develop full-colour parts by printing on the paper before being glued down.

Figure 1: Sheet lamination example setup[8]

This process starts with a single layer of solid material put across the build surface, be it paper (LOM and SDL) or PVC plastic (PSL) or metal (UAM/UC) or ceramic (CAM-LEM). This layer may or may not be bonded to the previous layers first as it depends on the process. Some processes bond the entire layer to the previous and then cut the 2D slice into the layer as with SDL or UAM, while other processes cut the 2D slice into the layer first, and then bond it onto the previous layers afterwards like CAM-LEM. The bonding between each layer occurs by a number of different methods depending on the process. For SDL and PSL, bonding is performed by applying a type of glue to the build surface. Layers are bonded together in LOM through melting a polymer that is embedded within the roll of paper. In the case of UC, the layers have an atomic migration between layers in a very small zone which fuses the layers together. The 2D slice data is either cut into the layer with a laser (LOM/CAM-LEM) or a blade (SDL/PSL) or machined away with a traditional CNC cutter (UAM/UC), and then the process starts over with a new solid layer being placed on top. In the CAM-LEM process, all the 2D layers are first pre-cut from a ceramic tape and then assembled and stacked on top of each other. Then a binder is added to give it strength before it is placed in an oven and fired to sinter the material together. With CAM-LEM, there is potential to cut the layers tangentially to the surface so that the traditional steps that are seen in AM are reduced and nearly eliminated[9], although it does not appear to have made it past the demonstration phase.

Advantages of this process tie directly to the individual processes. SDL can do full-colour prints, is relatively inexpensive since the raw material is normal office paper, can be infused with materials to increase strength or colour saturation, and excess material can be recycled. UC can do metal, and has the ability to do multi-metal layers within the overall part but not in the same layer, but can also embed other things into the part like wires, sensors, or fibres. CAM-LEM can process ceramic parts. No support material is needed since each layer is already solid and can support itself, although there are limitations to this as certain geometries like internal voids and cavities may not be possible.

A common disadvantage of all processes is that the layer height can’t be changed without changing the thickness of the sheets of material being used. Thus the layer steps and surface roughness is directly tied to sheet thickness. Regardless of the size of part being made, an entire sheet is consumed per layer, so material waste can be high if parts don’t make full use of the build volume. When layers are bonded before the 2D layer is cut out, the removal of excess material can be quite labour intensive. Excess material removal may not even be possible for some internal geometry. Even though UC creates solid metal parts, the bonds between layers are weaker than in the other directions, which could result in delamination. LOM cutting is performed with lasers and there is smoke and a chance of fire, which is why that technology was not very popular and why it moved to steel cutters instead.


[1] “ISO/ASTM 52900:2015(en), Additive manufacturing — General principles — Terminology,” International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva, Switzerland, 2015.
[2] Cawley J. D., Heuer A. H., Newman W. S., and Mathewson B. B., “Computer-aided manufacturing of laminated engineering materials,” American Ceramic Society Bulletin, vol. 75, no. 5, pp. 75–79, 1996.

[3] Feygin M. and Hsieh B., “Laminated object manufacturing: A simpler process,” in Proceedings of the 2nd Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 1991, pp. 123–130.

[4] Sriraman M. R., Babu S. S., and Short M., “Bonding characteristics during very high power ultrasonic additive manufacturing of copper,” Scripta Materialia, vol. 62, no. 8, pp. 560–563, Apr. 2010.

[5] Kong C. Y., Soar R. C., and Dickens P. M., “Optimum process parameters for ultrasonic consolidation of 3003 aluminium,” Journal of Materials Processing Technology, vol. 146, no. 2, pp. 181–187, Feb. 2004.

[6] Wohlers T. and Gornet T., “History of Additive Manufacturing,” in Wohlers Report 2014 – 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing State of the Industry, Wohlers Associates Inc, 2014, pp. 1–34.

[7] White D., “Ultrasonic object consolidation,” U.S. Patent 6,519,500, 11-Feb-2003.

[8] Upcraft S. and Fletcher R., “The rapid prototyping technologies,” Assembly Automation, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 318–330, Dec. 2003.

[9] Zheng Y., Choi S., Mathewson B. B., and Newman W. S., “Progress in Computer-Aided Manufacturing of Laminated Engineering Materials Utilizing Thick, Tangent-Cut Layers,” in Proceedings of the 7th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 1996, pp. 355–362.

FusiA Impression 3D Métal & Groupe Meloche join forces to carry out additive manufacturing projects in the aerospace sector

FusiA Impression 3D Métal, a Canada Makes member company specialized in the 3D printing of metal parts and Groupe Meloche, a major supplier of aerostructure and aircraft engine components to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier-1integrators, have signed a partnership agreement to carry out projects in the additive manufacturing of components for prime contractors in the global aerospace sector.

“This strategic partnership enables us to add additive manufacturing technology to our offering and gives us a competitive edge in our mission as a world-class aerospace integrator,” said Hugue Meloche, President and Chief Executive Officer, Groupe Meloche.

Already well positioned in the supply chain for aerostructure and aircraft engine component manufacturing, Groupe Meloche is now able to offer intelligent manufacturing services to all its customers. The company also specializes in manufacturing engineering, complex machining, surface treatment, painting, value-added assemblies, and non-destructive testing. Groupe Meloche is in the process of patenting a highly specialized non-destructive test bench technology.

Groupe FusiA specializes in the production of 3D printing metal parts for the aeronautics, space and defence sectors in France and Canada. Thanks to its experience and numerous R&D projects, it is today a recognized expert in additive manufacturing. Established since 2014 in Québec, the company offers, through its subsidiary FusiA Impression 3D Métal, its know-how in the 3D manufacturing of metal parts from a production facility in Greater Montréal.

“With the signing of this agreement, we are well positioned to penetrate this rapidly growing sector more rapidly thanks to Groupe Meloche’s expertise and its sustained march towards establishing a true 4.0 factory,” explains Cyrille Chanal, President of FusiA.

In recent years, Groupe Meloche has made significant investments in automation and advanced machining technologies. “3D printing is part of our goal to deliver world-class performance to our customers in terms of quality, on-time deliveries and manufacturing turnaround times,” adds Mr. Normand Sauvé, Vice President, Innovation and Infrastructure.

About Groupe Meloche (www.melocheinc.com)
Founded in 1974 in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Groupe Meloche provides aerostructure and aircraft engine components to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and Tier-1 integrators through a vertical integration strategy that includes precision machining, surface treatment, painting, assembly and non-destructive testing. The company owns four production sites near Montreal, including one in Bromont and its head office in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. It employs a total of 200 individuals who have access to modern workshops with over 45 machining and CNC turning centres. The corporation generates annual sales of more than $60 million.

About Groupe FusiA (www.fusia.fr)
Groupe FusiA specializes in the additive manufacturing (3D printing) of metal parts in France and Canada. It has gained extensive expertise in 3D printing through sustained investments in R&D since 2011 (more than 25 projects). Its know-how enables it to offer services from the design phase to production, in accordance with the aerospace sector’s highest standards. Its subsidiary, FusiA Impression 3D Métal, has been based in Québec since 2014 and has a production facility in Saint-Eustache. Groupe FusiA is also a leader in France through its subsidiary FusiA Aeroadditive, certified by the Safran Group. It recently obtained a series contracts for more than 1,000 parts from major European aerospace prime contractors.


For more information contact
Nancy German
514 924-4445

Additive Manufacturing 101-5: What is powder bed fusion?

(Image: 3D Hubs)

Powder Bed Fusion (Image: 3D Hubs)

  Mechanical Design Engineer and Additive Manufacturing Ph.D. student

This is the sixth article in 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 (binder jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, vat photopolymerization) and then a design philosophy for additive manufacturing.

Powder Bed Fusion

ISO/ASTM definition: “powder bed fusion, —an additive manufacturing process in which thermal energy selectively fuses regions of a powder bed.”[1]

Powder Bed Fusion can also be known as (in alphabetical order):

➢ Direct Metal Laser Remelting or DMLR[2]

➢ Direct Metal Laser Sintering or DMLS® (EOS GmbH)[2]

➢ Direct Metal Printing or DMP (3D Systems Corporation)

➢ Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing or EBAM[3]*‡

➢ Electron Beam Melting or EBM (Arcam AB)

➢ High Speed Sintering or HSS[4]

➢ LaserCUSING® (Concept Laser GmbH)[2]

➢ Laser Metal Fusion (TRUMPF Laser Technology)

➢ Micro Laser Sintering or MLS (EOS GmbH)

➢ Selective Electron Beam Melting or SEBM[5], [6]*

➢ Selective Heat Sintering or SHS[7]

➢ Selective Laser Melting or SLM[2]

➢ Selective Laser Sintering or SLS® (3D Systems Corporation)[2]

* Occasionally used in literature for describing EBM.

‡ EBAM is officially a trademarked DED process.

Powder bed fusion contains a range of technologies, all of which have core similarities, the main three are SLS, SLM and EBM. These originated from work at the University of Texas at Austin in the early 1980s which was awarded a patent in 1989[8], [9]. In 1995, SLM and DMLS were developed in Germany as part of a project between the Fraunhofer Institute, EOS and others[10]. In 1997, Arcam AB of Sweden was founded to commercialize the idea of EBM with their first machine being sold in 2001 and delivered in 2002. HSS was invented in the UK in 2003 and shows promise of being an up and coming AM technology[4].

Figure 1: Powder Bed Fusion example setup[11]

Powder bed fusion methods all start with a powder bed, another parallel to binder jetting. A thin layer of loose powder between 0.001mm (EOS) and 0.2mm (Arcam) with an average of 0.02mm to 0.1mm is smoothly spread flat over a build platform. This layer of powder is then passed over by either a laser or electron beam which supplies significant heat to the powder. The powder is then either partially melted (sintered) or fully melted, to a point where the powder fuses to itself and to the layers below. Then the build platform changes height, a new layer of powder is deposited, and the process is repeated layer by layer until the part is complete. The main differences between all these methods are the heat source that causes melting, the environment in which the melting takes place, and the degree to which things are melted. SLS, DMLS, SLM and all other methods that contain laser in the name, use a laser to provide the thermal energy. SHS uses only a thermal print head. HSS uses an infrared lamp and a radiation absorbent material to do the sintering. EBM uses an electron beam. SLS and HSS generally work only with plastics and operate in a heated nitrogen atmosphere with the powder bed at an elevated temperature. DMLS and SLM primarily work with metals, and due to the reactive nature of some powdered metals, the process takes place in an inert oxygen-free environment with the powder bed being either at room temperature or at a low-temperature set-point. EBM works with metals and takes place in a vacuum and at elevated temperatures much closer to the metals melting temperature. SLS, HSS, and SHS all sinter the material resulting in a final part that has some porosity, but low to no residual stress in the part. Residual stress is energy contained within the material itself that causes it to deform and move[12]. This lack of residual stress allows the parts do not need any type of support system as the powder bed provides the needed supports for overhangs. Although DMLS contains sintering as part of its name, its process does involve melting and not sintering of metals. SLM, DMLS, LaserCUSING and EBM fully melt the material and can result in fully dense parts. SLM, DMLS, and LaserCUSING all can result in significant residual stress depending on materials, geometry, and laser parameters, and thus need significant support structures to hold parts down. EBM utilizes its fast scan speed to preheat the entire layer with the electron beam to just below melting before actually melting the selected portions. This not only preheats the powder but also causes the powder to become loosely aggregated and reduces dust ‘smoking’ which is a repulsive reaction of the powder once it is hit with negatively charged electrons[13], [14]. EBM results in parts that have little to no residual stress and thus uses very little if any supports.

Advantages of this process are mostly about material properties. First, there is a wide range of materials that can be processed from plastic parts like Nylon to a wide range of different metals like copper and Inconel to even ceramics. Next, parts that are fully or even partially melted can have significant strength advantages over non-melted processes as the material properties can be close to that of stock material. Then, depending on the process and material, support structures may not be needed, as the powder bed becomes the support. Build speeds can also be fast depending on materials and process, with processes that preheat the powder bed to just below melting being the quickest because it allows a very fast scan speed. Electron beam scan speeds are the fastest of any process due to the lack of mechanical parts to direct the beam. Processes that use lasers result in a high level of detail and fine features. EBM can process materials that are highly reactive in oxygen, and thus can be made quicker and cheaper than subtractive methods.

Disadvantages depend on the process; however, all of these processes can only utilize a single material in the final part. Some methods require inert gases as an additional consumable material. Layer heights are a function of the powder diameter and thus have a medium resolution in the build direction compared to other processes. EBM surface finish is generally rough and will need some post-processing in order to achieve tight tolerances. Some methods require support structures that need additional manual work to be removed from the final part. EBM requires more than an air blasting to remove unsolidified material as the remaining powder no longer acts as a light metal powder but clings together more like wet sand. Thus it needs either powder blasting, ultrasonic vibration, or mechanical methods to remove the powder, with certain geometries like deep narrow cavities being especially difficult.


[1] “ISO/ASTM 52900:2015(en), Additive manufacturing — General principles — Terminology,” International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva, Switzerland, 2015.

[2] Gu D. D., Meiners W., Wissenbach K., and Poprawe R., “Laser additive manufacturing of metallic components: materials, processes and mechanisms,” International Materials Reviews, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 133–164, May 2012.

[3] Gong X., Anderson T., and Chou K., “Review on Powder-Based Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing Technology,” in ASME/ISCIE 2012 International Symposium on Flexible Automation (ISFA 2012), St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 2012, p. 507.

[4] Hopkinson N. and Erasenthiran P., “High Speed Sintering – Early Research into a New Rapid Manufacturing Process,” in Proceedings of the 15th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 2004, pp. 312–320.

[5] Heinl P., Rottmair A., Körner C., and Singer R. F., “Cellular Titanium by Selective Electron Beam Melting,” Advanced Engineering Materials, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 360–364, May 2007.

[6] Lodes M. A., Guschlbauer R., and Körner C., “Process development for the manufacturing of 99.94% pure copper via selective electron beam melting,” Materials Letters, vol. 143, pp. 298–301, Mar. 2015.

[7] Baumers M., Tuck C., and Hague R., “Selective Heat Sintering Versus Laser Sintering: Comparison of Deposition Rate, Process Energy Consumption and Cost Performance,” in Proceedings of the 26th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 2015, pp. 109–121.

[8] Deckard C. R., “Method and apparatus for producing parts by selective sintering,” U.S. Patent 4,863,538, 05-Sep-1989.

[9] Bourell D. L., Marcus H. L., Barlow J. W., Beaman J. J., and Deckard C. R., “Multiple material systems for selective beam sintering,” U.S. Patent 4,944,817, 31-Jul-1990.

[10] Shellabear M. and Nyrhilä O., “DMLS – Development History and State of the Art,” in Proceedings of the 4th Laser Assisted Net Shape Engineering Conference (LANE 2004): Volume 1, Erlangen, Germany, 2004, pp. 393–404.

[11] Frazier W. E., “Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Review,” Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 1917–1928, Jun. 2014.

[12] Buchbinder D., Meiners W., Pirch N., Wissenbach K., and Schrage J., “Investigation on reducing distortion by preheating during manufacture of aluminum components using selective laser melting,” Journal of Laser Applications, vol. 26, no. 1, p. 12004, 2014.

[13] Kahnert M., Lutzmann S., and Zaeh M. F., “Layer formations in electron beam sintering,” in Proceedings of the 18th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 2007, pp. 88–99.

[14] Eschey C., Lutzmann S., and Zaeh M. F., “Examination of the powder spreading effect in Electron Beam Melting (EBM),” in Proceedings of the 20th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 2009, pp. 308–319.

Burloak announces $104 million investment in a new Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre

On May 4, 2018 the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Burloak TechnologiesBains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a repayable federal investment of $14 million to advanced manufacturing company Burloak Technologies. Minister Gould was joined by Eleanor McMahon, Ontario’s President of the Treasury Board who announced a $7 million provincial grant. The total value of the project is $104.7 million.

“This is great news for Burlington and for Canada’s advanced manufacturing industry. Advanced manufacturing is an important and growing sector that is contributing to our economy and creating well-paying middle class jobs. Our government’s investment in Burloak’s project will help ensure Canada remains at the forefront of advanced manufacturing technology and a globally competitive centre for innovation. ”  – The Honorable Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions.

“Additive manufacturing is a rapidly developing technology that is destined to become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Through its investment in the Burloak Technologies Advanced Manufacturing Center, the provincial government is showing its leadership and support for innovation in the manufacturing sector and is helping to establish world-class 3D printing capabilities right here in Ontario.” Peter Adams President and Co-Founder, Burloak Technologies.

This investment will help create 295 new Canadian jobs by 2026 and will enable Burloak to open a new, world-class Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre in Burlington, Ontario, that will help make Canada a world leader in additive manufacturing.

“The announcement by Burloak is a huge step for Canada’s additive manufacturing sector,” said Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “We applaud the two levels of government for coming together and supporting Canada’s emerging additive sector and we look to keep working with Burloak to make Canada’s industries leaders in the adoption of additive manufacturing.”

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a cheaper, faster, and more environmentally friendly method of manufacturing. 3D printed parts are lighter and often more durable than traditionally manufactured parts.

Burloak’s investment in Ontario will also generate more R&D, more collaboration with post-secondary institutions and help strengthen the region’s advanced manufacturing cluster and supply chain.

This investment is made possible through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy, by encouraging R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services and facilitate the growth of innovative firms. What every business needs is insurance, and they can get excellent service from One Sure Insurance.

See release – Ontario Supporting Over 80 Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in Oakville

Quick facts

  • Burloak Technologies is a division of Samuel, Son & Co. based in Mississauga, Ontario. Samuel employs 4800 people at more than 100 facilities (622 of whom are in in Ontario).
  • Canada’s manufacturing industry is an important part of the country’s economy, contributing $174 billion or 10 percent to Canada’s GDP in 2016.
  • The Strategic Innovation Fund is a flexible program that reflects the diversity of innovation in all sectors of the economy.
  • Ontario is investing up to $7 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund as part of a larger overall investment by Samuel, Son & Co. and Burloak Technologies valued at $80.5 million. The project is scheduled for completion by December 2022.
  • Samuel, Son & Co. is one of North America’s largest metal manufacturing, processing and distribution companies. The company has more than 5,200 employees at over 100 facilities worldwide. Its Burloak Technologies division is a leader in additive manufacturing and delivers 3D printed applications to customers across various sectors.

Additive Manufacturing 101-4: What is material jetting?

(Image: 3D Hubs)

Material Jetting (Image: 3D Hubs)

  Mechanical Design Engineer and Additive Manufacturing Ph.D. student

This is the fifth article in 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 (binder jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, vat photopolymerization) and then a design philosophy for additive manufacturing.

Material Jetting

ISO/ASTM definition: “material jetting, —an additive manufacturing process in which droplets of build material are selectively deposited.”[1]

Material Jetting can also be known as (in alphabetical order):
➢ Aerosol Jet® (Optomec, Inc.)

➢ Ballistic Particle Manufacturing or BPM[2]

➢ Drop On Demand or DOD[3]

➢ Laser-Induced Forward Transfer or LIFT[4]

➢ Liquid Metal Jetting or LMJ[5]

➢ Multi-Jet Modelling or MJM (3D Systems Corporation)

➢ Multi-Jet-Printing or MJP (3D Systems Corporation)

➢ Nano Metal Jetting© (XJet) or NMJ

➢ NanoParticle Jetting™ (XJet) or NPJ

➢ Polyjet® (Stratasys Inc)

➢ Printoptical© Technology (Luxexcel)

➢ Thermojet Printing (3D Systems Corporation)

In 1984, Bill Masters patented one of the first AM technologies[6] and founded the company Perception Systems, Inc. He later changed its name to BPM Technology and called the technology ballistic particle manufacturing but eventually went bankrupt in 1998. The first commercialized machines were made in 1994 by a company that later became Solidscape[2]. Multi-Jet-Printing is a process from 3D Systems and was commercialized in 1996 which had a few different trade names like Thermojet and MJM. Then in 1998 Polyjet technology was developed by Objet[7], a company based in Israel which later merged with Stratasys in 2012. Then a founder of Objet started XJet in Israel and in 2015 announced a new material jetting technology that can make fully dense metal parts with a high level of surface quality.

Figure 1: Material Jetting example setup[8]

Material jetting is very similar to the type of technology that exists in a standard home-based inkjet printer and is closely related to the binder jetting process. The main difference is that rather than printing ink or a binder, it prints the specific type of material that will make up the final part. Another difference from standard 2D printing is rather than printing this material into a sheet of paper, the material gets deposited directly onto the build surface and becomes solidified by some mechanism. Then the build platform changes the height and the process is repeated until the final geometry is achieved. The material is deposited drop by drop in a very precise and fine detailed manner; however, the exact mechanism for depositing these drops varies with the type of material being jetted. Some of the print heads used are exactly the same types that exist in 2D printers, namely piezoelectric or thermal print heads. These print heads are the exact same type as described for binder jetting. However, in the case of LMJ where the temperatures involved are too high to either boil the material or have a piezo mechanism operate, a combination of magnetic and electrical forces operate and utilize Lorentz forces to propel droplets of liquid metal to be printed. In the case of LIFT, a laser pulse hits a special film consisting of the desired build material, as well as a carrier substrate, and results in a droplet being formed that falls towards the build surface. Then the film is moved so that the laser can hit a new part of the film and release additional material. Regardless of the drop creation process, once the drop is deposited, it then solidifies either through material cooling (LMJ and LIFT), external curing from a UV light source (Polyjet and Multi-Jet Printing), or by evaporating a liquid transport material by using infrared light/heat (NMJ). Research into reactive jetting using monomers and catalysts to form polymers[9] will increase the strength of parts made in this way. These polymers are generally materials that cannot be easily used in AM technologies but are highly attractive because of the long molecule chains associated with them. By being able to reactively jet these materials, the resulting plastics will have very large cross bonds that are formed within and between layers which will increase the strength of these plastic parts. Parts made this way will have a strength equivalent to injection moulded parts.

One big advantage of this technology is the ability to gang multiple print heads together. Having multiple print heads allows these machines to do unique things, such as print in different colours like traditional ink-jet printers, print faster by printing over the entire build surface in one pass, and print in multiple materials at the same time. The surface quality of these parts is usually quite high due to jetting very small droplets. Similar to how a normal inkjet printer is able to print thousands of different colours using only three different inks, a 3D printer that is able to jet multiple materials can combine these materials in different proportions in order to vary material properties in the finished part and create so-called digital materials. There is also a wide range of potential materials that can be directly jetted from plastics to metals; however, the time to develop new materials can be long. An advantage of using similar UV cured resins to those used in SL is that by incorporating the UV cure immediately after jetting, the parts come out fully cured and do not typically need any sort of post-curing.

Some disadvantages of this technology are the build time can be slow due to the nature of jetting very small amounts of material at a time over a small portion of the build area. Some machines use excess material by purging extra material through the nozzles and lines between layers or when the machine is not printing in order to preserve the print heads and prevent them from clogging up. Support structures are also required, thus one print head is dedicated to jetting only support material. This support material generally has very different material properties from that of the main part. Either it melts at a much lower temperature, is much softer, or is chemically different. Removal of the support material is then a manual step requiring one of the following methods: melting or dissolving away of the support material, spraying away the support material manually with water using a high-pressure wash, or removing them by hand.


[1] “ISO/ASTM 52900:2015(en), Additive manufacturing — General principles — Terminology,” International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva, Switzerland, 2015.

[2] Gibson I., Rosen D. W., and Stucker B., Additive Manufacturing Technologies. Boston, MA: Springer US, 2010.

[3] Le H. P., “Progress and trends in ink-jet printing technology,” Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 49–62, 1998.

[4] Visser C. W., Pohl R., Sun C., Römer G.-W., Huis in ‘t Veld B., and Lohse D., “Toward 3D Printing of Pure Metals by Laser-Induced Forward Transfer,” Advanced Materials, vol. 27, no. 27, pp. 4087–4092, Jul. 2015.

[5] Priest J. W., Smith C., and DuBois P., “Liquid Metal Jetting for Printing Metal Parts,” in Proceedings of the 8th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF), Austin, Texas, USA, 1997, pp. 1–9.

[6] Masters W. E., “Computer automated manufacturing process and system,” U.S. Patent 4,665,492, 12-May-1987.

[7] Gothait H., “Apparatus and method for three dimensional model printing,” U.S. Patent 6,259,962, 10-Jul-2001.

[8] Groth C., Kravitz N. D., Jones P. E., Graham J. W., and Redmond W. R., “Three-dimensional printing technology.,” Journal of Clinical Orthodontics : JCO, vol. 48, no. 8, pp. 475–85, Aug. 2014.

[9] Fathi S., Dickens P. M., Hague R., Khodabakhshi K., and Gilbert M., “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.

Visit Canada Makes’ partners on the floor at Rapid

April 23rd RAPID + TCT conference opens in Fort Worth, Texas. This yearly event is where additive manufacturing industry meets to learn about new applications of the technology, hear about new product announcements and network with peers and industry experts. Some of the more than 300 exhibitors are Canada Makes partners so please take the time to drop by and hear about their latest products and services.

Exhibitor Booth #
AON3D 542
EOS 1118
Precision ADM 435
GE Additive 1318
Jesse Garant Metrology Center 737
Renishaw 718
Tekna 2528
Custom Prototypes / Raplas America 736

Go here to view the floor plan.

The conference will cover the latest processes, applications, materials, and research in additive manufacturing, helping attendees to discover how best to utilize 3D technologies within their operations. There will be over 200 presentations to choose from, and each is labeled novice, intermediate, or expert.

  • 300+ 3D technology providers in one room – Witness major product launches, see the newest technologies at work, and do side-by-side comparisons.
  • The top forum for additive manufacturing education in North America – 200+ presentations to educate on how to use 3D technologies to improve creativity and execution, reduce costs, and bring products to market faster.
  • Networking with thousands of attendees – The most influential and experienced additive manufacturing professionals attend RAPID + TCT. Consult with the industry experts on equipment decisions, and find out how peers are addressing similar challenges at their organizations.
  • Daily Keynotes – Each morning will feature an industry-leading speaker.

Learn more more about RAPID + TCT here.