Metal Additive Manufacturing for Industrial Applications
Systems of the Future, Today
Renishaw additive manufacturing systems use metal powder bed fusion technology to build complex components direct from digital CAD files.
What is additive manufacturing (metal 3D printing)?
Additive manufacturing is a process of creating a three-dimensional object from a digital file. It is called additive because it generally involves building up thin layers of material, one by one. The technology can produce complex shapes that are not possible with traditional casting and machining methods, or subtractive techniques.
Renishaw's metal additive manufacturing process
Renishaw's metal powder bed fusion is an additive manufacturing technology that uses a high powered ytterbium fibre laser to fuse fine metallic powders together creating functional 3-dimensional parts.
Renishaw apply metal powder bed fusion technology, as classified by ASTM International. The technology, however, is still often referred to as layer melting, metal additive manufacturing, metal 3D printing, laser sintering and metal AM.
The process is digitally driven, direct from sliced 3D CAD data. For each slice of CAD data a thin even layer of fine metal powder is deposited across the build plate, then the selected areas of the powder are precisely melted by the laser. This process is repeated building up, layer by layer, until the build is complete.
Renishaw's additive manufacturing systems can build in a range of metals, including titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, cobalt chromium, stainless steel, nickel alloys Inconel 625 and Inconel 718 and aluminium alloy AlSi10Mg.
Total solutions for metal additive manufacturing
Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
- Component weight reduction - only build material where required for optimised part geometry
- Rapid design iterations
- Bespoke or customised items
- Multiple part consolidation
- Reduce tooling costs
- Build complex geometries such as thin walls, lattices and internal features
- Increased design freedom - AM is not constrained by traditional design rules
Open Material Parameters
Renishaw follows an open parameter ethos, providing our customers with freedom to optimise machine settings to suit the material being processed and the user's specific geometry.
Inert Gas Atmosphere
Class leading inert atmosphere and minimal gas consumption
Renishaw's patented class leading inert atmosphere generation works by first creating a vacuum before back filling with high purity argon gas. This method ensures a high quality build environment as well as minimal argon usage for atmosphere generation. It is suitable for all qualified metals including titanium and aluminium.
Gas consumption is further minimised by the use of a fully sealed and welded chamber that also contributes to robustness.
Safe Powder Handling
All Renishaw AM systems benefit from our patented SafeChange™ filter and system powder handling via the glove box, helping to minimise user contact with materials and process emissions. Our industrial manufacturing system, the RenAM 500M further benefits from automated powder sieving and recirculation.
Which industries use additive manufacturing?
The early adopters of additive manufacturing included high-end automotive, aerospace and consumer goods customers. Applications are growing across industries with increasing use in dental, medical and tooling. Renishaw have dedicated teams providing healthcare solutions.
Advanced metal additive manufacturing is used to produce small numbers of industrial end use parts and an increasing number OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are adopting it as a complementary technology and integral part of their production processes.
It is foreseeable that additive manufacturing will be integrated across all manufacturing industries.
Renishaw offers a wide range of high quality metal powders for our AM systems.