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Custom Prototypes repeats as winner at AMUG with metal Roman helmet

Canada Makes offers congratulation to our member Custom Prototypes for once again being awarded first place in the Advanced Finishing category of the AMUG Technical Competition in St. Louis for their metal 3D printed Roman helmet.

Learn more about the process Custom Prototypes used to fabricate the Mark Antony helmut here.
About Custom Prototypes
Based in Toronto and with more than 20 years experience Custom Prototypes is a small team of designers, engineers and fabricators who specialize in bringing ideas into tangible working prototypes. Their collaborative work environment is the benchmark for their innovative approach to tackling complex problems. www.customprototypes.ca

NIST Releases Additive Manufacturing Metal Powder Report to Hopefully Improve Manufacturing

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901. It’s now part of the US Department of Commerce, and it’s one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories.

Congress established the agency to bring the US up to snuff in measurement infrastructure with the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals of the time. Now NIST-generated measurements support technologies from the nanoscale to enormous and complex projects like earthquake-resistant skyscrapers and wide-body jetliners.

Now the manufacturing researchers at NIST have created a set of guidelines for powder bed, metal 3D printing fusion processes they say identifies key unknowns in the additive manufacturing process in the hope they can help make those methods capable of being fine-tuned automatically.

The report systematically links process inputs to in-process phenomena that might either be measured or modeled to quantify part quality from material characteristics and dimensional accuracy to surface roughness.

The powder bed fusion process generally uses a laser to selectively heat and fuse a thin layer of metal particles within a bed of metal powder.

As it’s of critical importance to aerospace and automotive manufacturers to further develop metal printing capability, the NIST report is aimed at helping to promote advances in process control and reliability.

NIST says powder bed fusion of metal parts is “beset by system performance and reliability issues that can undermine part quality, problems shared by other additive manufacturing methods.” They say problems like dimensional and form errors, voids in fused layers, high residual stress in finalized parts, and poorly understood material properties including hardness and strength are holding back the process.NIST Metal Powder Report Lane

The NIST researchers are hoping their work results in process controls through in-process sensing and real-time control which will ultimately help prevent or correct such issues. Their work is aimed at reaching a detailed understanding of the intricacies of powder bed fusion and the more than 50 factors they say influence the melting process alone.

The NIST research team broke the method down into a dozen “process parameters,” 15 types of “process signatures” and the half a dozen categories of “product qualities” they charted to identify the “cause-and-effect relationships among variables” in each of the three categories.

Mechanical engineer Dr. Brandon Lane of the NIST, one of the report’s authors, says, “This cause-and-effect breakout can guide research to develop measurement and sensing capabilities as well as modeling and simulation tools—all with the aim of enabling better process control.”

Next up, the NIST research team say they plan to build an additive manufacturing test bed for evaluating in-process measurement and control methods to enable them to observe melting and solidification of metal powders, integrate process metrology tools, and implement software interfaces and data acquisition for process measurements and test control algorithms.

The report, Measurement Science Needs for Real-time Control of Additive Manufacturing Powder Bed Fusion Processes, is available here or you can download the full report heremore

 

NIST Metal Powder Report Image 214

SOURCE – 3Dprint.com

The Metal Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Projects a Success

Canada Makes, in partnership with NRC-IRAP, successfully completed the program Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) Demonstration Projects. This Canada Makes led project assisted 18 small- to medium-sized (SME) companies in increasing their understanding of the advantages of the metal laser additive manufacturing (AM) technology. This program provided companies with a better understanding of the advantages and business opportunities both in terms of cost savings and efficiency of adopting AM technology and processes, as well as introducing never before considered options to their clients.

“CME is very pleased with the results of the first round of the project. The objectives called for the engagement of up to 10 NRC-IRAP eligible companies; we did 18” said Martin Lavoie, Director of Innovation with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. “The knowledge gained by all involved can only benefit Canada’s competitive edge in the innovation of new products.”

A working group of metal AM service providers from across Canada, comprising both private and academic institutions, was created to assist in delivering this program. The group comprised the following: Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), FusiA in Quebec, Mohawk College’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Hamilton, Burloak Technologies Inc., Renishaw Canada, NRC-London and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.

Participating companies would choose an item/tool they thought would be a good candidate for metal 3D printing and then submit both a CAD file and a short summary of their requirements. Once a review of the submission was completed, a meeting to discuss its feasibility was held. One overriding consideration during the review process is if the candidate item is economically viable for metal AM. Sometimes a part may seem like a good fit for AM but is actually better suited for traditional manufacturing methods.

3D Printed high-pressure nozzles

3D Printed high-pressure nozzles for Valiant Value Flex Washer

Valiant Corporation, a program participant, saw certain advantages in adopting metal AM to produce high-pressure nozzles for their ValueFlex Washer.  “When exploring relatively new technologies, using the most suitable approach is paramount for project success. Ours was to identify the significant criteria that makes a part the perfect candidate for 3D Metal Printing” said Sorin Cerghet, Sr. Project Engineer Advanced Technology with Valiant. ”It’s a simple statement, but it’s encompassing for a lot of areas, not just from a technological standpoint, but from a business perspective as well.”

Richard Janik, Vice President, J&C Tool & Die Limited had this to say about the program, “In continually improving our capabilities in production tooling, the NRC Metal Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Program has provided us a valuable opportunity to evaluate processes and materials for the manufacture of complex components.”

The experience gained through the delivery of this program was a two way street. Both the service providers and participating companies gained pertinent knowledge that only hands-on projects like this can offer. “This project was an opportunity to use our new technology to advance the R&D in a Canadian company while also learning more about the capability of our system” said Neil Wenger, Technology Coordinator at NAIT. “When I took the newly printed part to the NAIT Machinist Program to help with some finishing, it gathered a great deal of interest from the instructors.  This project was a chance to see an example of what kind of work is being done in industry.  Collaboration expands the circle of knowledge.”

Mark Kirby, Additive Manufacturing Business Manager with Renishaw Canada said this about the program, “The CME program has fostered early and effective engagement with potential customers who have new product or process ideas. The program has delivered both process knowledge transfer via collaborative design reviews and valuable proof of concept parts for testing and evaluation.”

With the cost of manufacturing in Asia steadily climbing and re-shoring now a legitimate option, the idea of incorporating additive manufacturing makes more and more sense. The advantages AM offers in cost savings and innovation makes this program a potential game changer for Canadian manufacturers and exporters. Lavoie added, “CME’s Canada Makes will continue to explore ways to help manufacturers stay competitive through the adoption of additive manufacturing, and a new and expanded version of this program is just one of our upcoming initiatives.”