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Advancing MRO Solutions With Additive Manufacturing

Advancing MRO Solutions With Additive Manufacturing

ST Engineering and EOS have collaborated to introduce multiple AM solutions for the aerospace sector—from qualified systems and materials to 3D print certified parts that are more durable and more effective in operations.

ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector has been building its portfolio in virtual inventory to enhance customers’ air operation performance, including solutions for commonly damaged aircraft components. Printing on demand helps eliminate waste when platforms are retired, reducing non-moving inventory. In addition, with approved digital files and qualified 3D printers & processes, certified parts can be produced close to aircraft sites, vastly reducing delivery-related carbon emissions and improving cost efficiencies.

Confident that additive manufacturing (AM) is the way forward, the company collaborates with technology partners and like-minded airline customers to develop multiple AM solutions. Here, ST Engineering shares how they successfully broadened and deepened their capabilities for AM solutions. 

Overcoming Challenges

Back in 2018, ST Engineering already had plans to expand their AM capabilities from Filament Layer Manufacturing (FLM) technologies to include Laser Powder Bed (LPB) technologies- covering the two processes of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal Laser Solidification (DMLS) – so as to offer a wider range of additive manufacturing solutions to customers. 

Originally, it only had Design Organisation Approval (DOA) and Production Organisation Approval (POA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for FLM technology. For the LPB technologies, the plan was to build in-house capabilities in managing and qualifying the systems, materials and processes, which would in turn open more application potential to produce AM aircraft parts. 

As a new adopter of LPB AM technologies, ST Engineering decided to collaborate with EOS, one of the industry’s pioneering leaders specialising in LPB AM systems, to jumpstart their learning curve in understanding the possibilities and limitations of both SLS and DMLS processes.

AM Solution

By the end of 2018, ST Engineering and EOS’ consulting arm, Additive Minds, established an Additive Manufacturing Capability Transfer program. The program comprised customised training and consulting workshops that aimed to build strong fundamentals among attendees in the following topics: parts screening and selection, design for AM, business case analysis, and introduction on critical-to-quality requirements for AM processes.

After the Capability Transfer Program, ST Engineering selected a load-bearing cabin interior assembly with no impact on flight safety from their converted freighter aircraft as a benchmark to kickstart their adoption journey with both SLS and DMLS technologies. 

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EOS And Audi Expand Range Of Applications For Metal 3D Printing

EOS And Audi Expand Range Of Applications For Metal 3D Printing

AUDI AG is relying entirely on industrial 3D printing at its Metal 3D Printing Centre in Ingolstadt for the production of selected tool segments. Additive manufacturing (AM) with EOS technology is used for 12 segments of four tools for hot forming. Plans call for significantly more segments to be printed this way. Audi uses the tool segments produced using the EOS M 400 system in its press shop to make body panels for models including the Audi A4. The company plans to do the same for future electric vehicles.

Shifting part of its tool segment production activities from conventional manufacturing to AM is an important step, highlighting both the quality and reliability of industrial 3D printing and the design freedom advantages this production method offers. This is the latest outcome of the longstanding cooperative relationship between Audi and EOS in Ingolstadt. EOS provided support in the form of technology and know-how before and during the construction of Audi’s 3D printing centre back in 2016. Since then, experts from both companies have been making steady progress on the use of AM, and Audi has established an ideal application in the area of hot forming for series vehicles. Several hundred thousand parts have already been produced using the 3D-printed tools and installed in selected models.

“From initial qualification by EOS to internal further development and refinement of the entire process chain through to standardisation of a new production method, we are now reaping the fruits of years of development within Audi’s production organisation. Whenever conventional manufacturing methods reach their limit, we use additive manufacturing – which lets us meet quality standards and comply with production times,” said Matthias Herker, Technical Project Manager at the Audi Metal 3D Printing Center

Advantages of 3D printing for tooling

When additive manufacturing is used at the Audi Metal 3D Printing Center, the focus is on hot forming segments and high-pressure die casting tool inserts. The design department in Ingolstadt creates entire tools, which can measure as much as 5 x 3 meters. The individual additively manufactured tool segments in turn can be up to 400 mm in length and weigh as much as 120 kg. The size and complexity of the tool segments mean that construction times of up to 20 days are not uncommon, which is why the reliability and quality of the EOS M 400 3D printing system that is used are crucial success factors.

3D printing makes it possible to create highly complex cooling channels configured for the specific component within the tool segments. This provides contoured, more-even cooling, making it possible to shorten cycle times with outstanding quality – a critical point for series production of the actual vehicle component.

 

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Siemens Launches Advance Manufacturing Competence Center In Singapore

Siemens Launches Advance Manufacturing Competence Center in Singapore

Siemens has officially launched its Advance Manufacturing Transformation Center (AMTC) to provide guidance, support and training to companies in Southeast Asia on their journey of adoption, transition and transformation towards advance manufacturing.

AMTC is the first-of-its-kind, three-in-one competence center that combines the Digital Enterprise Experience Center (DEX), the Additive Manufacturing Experience Center (AMEC) and Rental Labs – creating a one-stop advance manufacturing ecosystem that addresses operational transition.

The DEX showcases Digital Enterprise solutions that enable companies to create digital twins of their envisioned advance manufacturing plants, so that they can simulate, optimize and evaluate manufacturing operations before constructing the actual manufacturing environment. It also provides manufacturing design consulting.

The AMEC is where companies can experience hands-on exposure to an advance end-to-end additive manufacturing production line supported by AMTC’s ecosystem of technology partners. It fills the gap between additive manufacturing R&D and commercialization by letting companies carry out prototyping, supported by on-site additive manufacturing experts.

The Rental Labs (Additive Manufacturing) provide affordable access to the latest industrial design software and high-end additive manufacturing printers as well as post-processing equipment – allowing companies to do low-volume 3D printing for proof of concept, and testing of such production line before deciding if they want to invest in additive manufacturing infrastructure.

Minister Chan Chun Sing congratulated the launch of the Siemens AMTC with a video message.

Minister Chan Chun Sing congratulated the launch of the Siemens AMTC with a video message.

“Today, most companies understand the urgent need for digital transformation, and the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized that. But many companies are deterred by factors such as complex and unintegrated technologies, high cost of transition, disruption to business continuity and lack of technical experts,” said Raimund Klein, Executive Vice President of Digital Industries, Siemens ASEAN. “Siemens is supporting companies in their transition into Industry 4.0 with the AMTC, a consulting, training, R&D and small-scale production facility, all rolled into one.”

As a testament of how the AMTC can help to accelerate production introduction cycle, the center and its partners developed and manufactured a medical grade face shield using additive manufacturing in June this year. The face shield was designed by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) for its COVID-19 front-liners. The optimized face shield has enhanced durability and strength, provides comfort wear and allows ease of cleaning.

Siemens, through the AMTC, is partnering SkillsFuture Singapore to roll out a six-month additive manufacturing training under the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme. The programme equips mid-career jobseekers with skills in additive manufacturing and digitalization to move into roles such as Programmable Logic Controller engineers and automation engineers, so as to better support the current wave of industrial companies undergoing digital transformation. The AMTC will host projects for trainees to work on and organise Project Demonstration Days for trainees to pitch their projects to potential hiring employers.

“The launch of its Advance Manufacturing Transformation Center reflects Siemens’ continued confidence in Singapore as a leading location to spur regional development and adoption of Advanced Manufacturing. We believe it remains relevant and will catalyse the digital transformation of businesses in the new operating environment,” said Lim Kok Kiang, Executive Vice President, International Operations, EDB. “We are also heartened that Siemens is supporting our mid-career professionals with training opportunities during this challenging period, and equipping them with skills for the future.”

The AMTC ecosystem currently consists of technology providers, education and research institutes, as well as government agencies. They are:

Technology Providers

Education and research institutes

Government agencies

 

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Formula Student Team Used AM To Produce Oil Cooling System For Electric Racers

Formula Student Team Used AM To Produce Oil Cooling System For Electric Racers

The Formula Student team from Stuttgart solved the thermal stress issues in electric racers by creating an oil cooling system though additive manufacturing (AM). Article by EOS. 

Racers must keep a cool head—and their cars should not overheat either. This applies equally to racing cars with combustion engines and electric motors. The difference: in fuel-fired racers the engine has to be tempered, in electric vehicles this must be considered in particular for the accumulator. The Formula Student team from Stuttgart has solved this task in the truest sense of the word with an additively manufactured oil cooling system and support from EOS.

Challenge

A complex battery system requires powerful heat dissipation—no big deal thanks to additive manufacturing. (Source: GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart)

A battery—as accumulators are called today—for an electric car has diva-like characteristics. It needs to be treated with caution. This applies not only to mechanical stress, but also to thermal stress: It doesn’t like temperatures that are too high or too low. The reason for this is the behaviour of the electron flow: If it is too cold, the electrons do not migrate fast enough for the maximum power output due to the higher internal resistance. If the temperature is too high, for example if the maximum power output is maintained for a longer period or if the climate is simply hot, there is a risk that membranes will be destroyed or that they will age more rapidly, even to the extent of the so-called thermal runaway. 

In order to guarantee an optimum working range, appropriate systems are necessary; liquid-based solutions have the advantage that they can also heat the cells and thus maintain high performance – which is of course of central importance in racing. Oil cooling systems offer very good properties for the battery, but can only be realized with great effort using traditional construction methods: The filled quantity should be kept as low as possible in order to save weight. This also reduces space requirements, which plays a major role not only in tightly cut racing cars.

“In addition, the flow characteristics in the system are important for achieving a high volumetric flow rate,” says Florian Fröhlich from the Stuttgart Formula Student GreenTeam. “Several aspects have to be considered in order to secure an optimum flow velocity, including the expedient design and the lowest possible surface resistance.”

The aim of the racing team was to ensure that a major part of the fluid constantly circulates in the area of the cell flags. Additionally, as oil is quite aggressive, the chosen material must feature a certain level of chemical resistance, while at the same time it must follow the lightweight character of the entire project. High fire resistance is obligatory in racing anyway.

Solution

The young racing team set to work with this sporty technical wish list. Simulations on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) resulted in the expedient design of the cooling system, which is made up of flux direction parts and inlet devices. The geometry was optimized in such a way, that a consistent flow is created through the outlets with their compact design and high surface quality. Due to the planned construction geometry and the incorporated hollow structures as well as, of course, the very small number of units, additive manufacturing was the best choice for the production process: The required flow properties would not have been reproducible with traditional methods.

 

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EOS Launches Versatile Online Platform To Fight Further Spread Of The Virus

EOS Launches Versatile Online Platform To Fight Further Spread Of The Virus

EOS has launched a versatile online platform and LinkedIn Group to support the battle against COVID-19 on all levels.

In times of crisis individuals, organisations and governments need to stand together. EOS is developing solutions and utilising their network to facilitate inspirational exchange. The team leveraged its global network of suppliers, partners, customers and the broader EOS community.

READ: HP Inc. And Partners Battles COVID19 With 3D Printing Solutions

EOS’s open platform initiative features relevant data, impactful projects, and offers valuable files free to download – ready to print. All of these are designed to support pandemic-fighting and life-saving approaches. The 3DAgainstCorona site will be updated on a regular basis.

“Improving people’s lives with the help of 3D printing has always been our aspiration. The current pandemic now calls for a joint approach, more than ever before. Today, we are asking all supporters to join us in tackling the challenges that lay ahead of us. Let’s do what our technology is enabling us for: Let’s think differently and push the boundaries of what is possible,” said Marie Langer, CEO of EOS.

During a pandemic, scalable and on-demand capabilities become key

The key goal for governments worldwide currently is to maintain adequate patient care. Those fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines are often lacking proper protection equipment due to difficulties in supplying the vast numbers needed e.g. in hospitals worldwide.

READ: Fight Against Corona: TRUMPF Retrofits Mini-Lasers For Ventilators

At the same time, the challenges continue while trying to meet the immense demand for medical devices, protective clothing and masks. Federal governments are approaching both traditional and 3D printing manufacturers to support production scaling of medical equipment needed in a pandemic.

One of the most valuable benefits additive manufacturing can contribute here is that it can help to reduce the sole dependence on traditional supply chains. Based on AM, critical shortages can be more rapidly addressed. Moreover, traditional manufacturing ramp up is accelerated and further supply chain shortages can be eliminated via digital manufacturing.

READ: Impact of COVID-19 On The Automotive Manufacturing Supply Chain

At the same time, the latter also enables a more distributed manufacturing. Data can be shared or sent across the globe and products can be 3D printed where they are most needed. Which becomes even more important during a pandemic when supply chains are disrupted by international shutdowns and transport restrictions.

 

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EOS: Additive Manufacturing For The A350 XWB

EOS: Additive Manufacturing For The A350 XWB

Here’s how one company was able to develop a cable mount on the front spar of the vertical stabilizer for a passenger aircraft in record time. Article by EOS GmbH.

Unified design of the additively manufactured tail bracket eliminates 30 parts down to one. (Source: Sogeti)

The moment when a completely new commercial aircraft takes to the skies for the first time is always special—and this was especially true of the Airbus A350 XWB. As a child of the new millennium, it was clear from the very beginning that development work would focus on innovative materials and production processes—the goal was no less than to build the world’s most efficient aircraft.

As a technology of the future, additive manufacturing was another possibility that needed to be considered during development. As part of a pilot project, experts from Sogeti High Tech succeeded in developing a cable mount on the front spar of the vertical stabilizer for the passenger aircraft in record time, taking only two weeks from the initial sketch to the finished part. EOS technology and expertise was a pivotal aspect of this development process.

Challenge

The project specifically involved producing a cable routing mount for the latest Airbus model. The mount was ultimately needed for the power supply and data transportation of a camera located in the vertical stabilizer, providing a view of the outside to passengers and orientation on the ground to the pilots. The product requirements document called for a functionally operational component suitable for series production. This task was entrusted to Sogeti High Tech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cap Gemini S.A.

The particular challenge in this case was the short lead time of just two weeks. The entire development had to be completed within this time frame: From analysis of the part and of the current installation set-up, a parameter study aimed at optimizing the topology and its interpretation, and the design and production of the finished part. The mount also needed to have as few support structures as possible to avoid post-processing. In addition, the specifications for the component called for integration of the snap-on cable holder, weight reduction, and compliance with the strict requirements for subsequent aviation industry certification.

The conventionally produced component was made up of formed sheet metal parts and numerous rivets—more than 30 individual parts in total. The plug connectors in the upper area were made from plastic, and thus from a different material than the other individual parts of the mount. The aim was to develop an integrated solution consisting of a single part that also included the plug connectors, thereby significantly reducing construction and installation times. The weight reduction target for additive manufacturing was determined by a parameter study based on topology optimization.

Solution

For the new component, Sogeti High Tech followed the tried-and-tested development process for designing additively manufactured parts. The project kicked off with an analysis of the existing, conventionally produced component in terms of the upcoming manufacturing process—with an extremely positive outcome. The component’s functionality, material, and previously complex structure made it an ideal candidate for powder-bed-based 3D printing technology from EOS. The design freedom offered by this technology allows complex structures to be produced in a single piece, meaning that a weight-saving design can be selected without neglecting functional integration.

This analysis then allowed the so-called design space—the space that the cable-routing mount may occupy—to be defined. The aluminium alloy AlSi10Mg, which is ideal for thin-walled, complex structures, was chosen as the material. The interfaces to the external areas remained the same, forming the non-design space, meaning that no changes are needed to be made to them. The defined loads were taken as the boundary conditions for topology optimization in the parameter study, providing the basis for a new design.

As is customary, CAE software was used for the topology optimization calculations; by contrast, a dedicated solution for designing structures with free-form surfaces was used for the re-design. Sogeti High Tech created the design itself. In order to meet the lead time of two weeks, EOS calculated the build time and optimized parameters from the topology optimization results using the EOSPRINT software, which created the CAE implementation for the manufactured part while also taking into account the possibilities and limitations of the manufacturing process and the need to avoid support structures.

“In addition to outstanding hardware, EOS also offers comprehensive expertise in making additively manufactured components reality—something that we rate very highly,” says Carlos Ribeiro Simoes, Additive Manufacturing Offering Leader at Sogeti High Tech.

Results

Thanks to the cooperation between Sogeti and EOS, it was possible to develop a component optimized for additive manufacturing that fully exploits the design freedom afforded by direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology, while at the same time taking account of its restrictions. This allowed plug connectors for cable routing to be integrated into the design and local reinforcement to be incorporated in specific critical areas in order to optimize the structure. Self-supporting apertures and struts within the component help to keep the effort, and hence, the post-processing costs to a minimum.

Additionally, the mount can be produced extremely fast, whenever it is needed. Manufacturing—performed on an EOS M 400 with layer thicknesses of 90 μm—only takes 19 hours instead of the 70 days previously required. This corresponds to a reduction in the production time well in excess of 90 percent. This is largely because the many individual steps and formerly 30 parts have been brought together in a central component that can now be produced in a single run. In addition, the individual parts no longer need to be constructed and held in stock, which can be expensive. Storage for the entire component assembly is now also much more straightforward.

Sogeti was not only able to save a huge amount of time in production, but also in development. The entire process from the initial sketch to the finished component took only two weeks. This is a phenomenal lead time. At the same time, the design also means greater weight efficiency. Whereas the conventionally manufactured original part weighed 452 g, the additively manufactured cable mount weighs just 317 g—and it is well known that the aviation industry counts every single gram in the interest of cutting fuel consumption to a minimum. The customer, Airbus, was more than satisfied with the results.

“Getting an existing component ‘AM-ready’ in just two weeks meant that we had to succeed at the first attempt. The excellent, proactive collaboration with EOS made this ambitious undertaking possible—with outstanding results,” says Simoes.

 

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Etihad Engineering Sets Up 3D Printing Lab In Abu Dhabi, Receives Region’s First Approval To 3D Print Aircraft Parts

Etihad Engineering Sets Up 3D printing Lab in Abu Dhabi, Receives Region’s First Approval to 3D Print Aircraft Parts

Etihad Engineering, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) division of Etihad Aviation Group, has collaborated with EOS to open the region’s first additive manufacturing facility with design and production approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The laboratory, located at the Etihad Engineering facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, features the primary and recently installed powder-bed based polymer system EOS P 396 from EOS for demanding high-performance and high-quality applications. In contrast to traditional manufacturing processes, it enables faster production and reduced weight of cabin parts.

As an MRO solutions provider committed to continuously enhancing the service value it offers to the market and its customers, Etihad Engineering together with EOS received one of the first airline MRO approvals from EASA for 3D printing using the powder-bed fusion technology which will be used to design, produce and certify additively manufactured parts for the aircraft cabin of the future.

“Being committed to high-quality solutions and constant technology innovation, Etihad and EOS share the same mindset. Together, we want to bring the design and production of aircraft interior parts to the next level,” said Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President, Export Region at EOS. “Producing cabin interior parts additively will offer a substantial value-add in terms of optimized repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customization, as such addressing some of the key challenges of the aerospace industry.”

“The launch of the new facility is in line with Etihad Engineering’s position as a leading global player in aircraft engineering as well as a pioneer in innovation and technology. We are extremely proud to collaborate with EOS to expand our capability and support the UAE’s strategy to increase production technology and cement its position as a global aerospace hub,” said Bernhard Randerath, VP Design, Engineering and Innovation, Etihad Engineering.

The facility was officially opened in a ceremony attended by His Excellency Ernst Peter Fischer, German Ambassador to the UAE in recognition of the relationship between Germany-based EOS and the UAE’s Etihad Engineering.

The newest system installed by EOS produces serial parts from polymer materials such as PA 2241 FR and enables the manufacture of cabin parts for an aircraft’s heavy maintenance C-check. Cabin defects can also be rectified within a short turnaround time, which allows for the production of the required cabin parts during line maintenance. The system operates with a total build volume of 340x340x600 mm. The modular and highly productive system enables the tool-free manufacture of serial components, spare parts, functional prototypes and models directly from CAD data.

 

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Marie Langer Appointed New CEO Of EOS

Marie Langer Appointed New CEO of EOS

Marie Langer, daughter of founder Dr. Hans J. Langer, has been appointed new chief executive officer (CEO) of EOS GmbH with immediate effect, placing the strategic direction of the company firmly in her hands. Her key focus will be on strategy, marketing, communications as well as corporate culture, organisational and people development.

EOS, a leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, is restructuring its company management with immediate effect. In doing so, the owner family underscores its long-term commitment, while at the same time laying the foundations to optimally position the company in a highly dynamic and constantly evolving market environment.

“Thirty years of personal commitment at all levels and our shared culture have made us into the highly successful company we are today. We have successfully harnessed the pioneering spirit of the early years and combined it with the expertise of a global market leader,” said Langer. “From both a technological and an organisational perspective, EOS is optimally positioned for a successful future. My vision is that EOS stays at the cutting edge of industrial 3D printing technology and that the company makes a sustainable contribution towards solving the huge challenges facing us today. We want our technology to do more than driving economic growth. We want it to provide positive environmental and social benefits.”

Extended Management Board

As managing director, Dr. Adrian Keppler will further focus on the development of strategic customer and partner relationships and will oversee the close collaboration between the EOS subsidiaries and with the EOS Ecosystem.

Eric Paffrath, in his function as managing director, will continue to bear overall commercial responsibility for EOS GmbH. In this role, he will be heading Finance, Business Administration and Information Technology divisions, as well as other commercial areas.

CTO and CCOO to Leave EOS

The previous CTO Dr. Tobias Abeln and the previous CCOO Bertrand Humel van der Lee are leaving the company by mutual agreement.

EOS founder Dr. Langer commented, “I would like to thank Tobias Abeln who has worked with passion and enthusiasm for the last eight years, during which he successfully built a strong and highly capable technical organisation that has been a cornerstone of our success. I would also like to thank Bertrand Humel van der Lee, for his key contribution to sales, service and marketing across all regions during his time at EOS.”

The New CTO Organisation

In October, EOS introduced a product line-oriented structure geared towards the needs of its customers and comprising four central divisions: metal systems, polymer systems and materials, software and innovation. This will maximise synergies, accelerate decision-making processes and ensure consistent support throughout the product life cycle.

The EOS Ecosystem

Set up and expanded by Dr. Langer over many years, the EOS Ecosystem is a multi-layered network of EOS affiliates, external partners and the company AM Ventures and supports promising start-ups. This cooperation combines expertise to enable the implementation of customer-specific manufacturing solutions along the entire value chain – from the initial idea to design and engineering, right through to production and post-processing and, ultimately, the finished component.

 

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EOS Presents New Materials And Processes For Series Additive Manufacturing

EOS Presents New Materials and Processes for Series Additive Manufacturing

EOS presents four new metal materials—EOS StainlessSteel CX, EOS Aluminium AlF357, EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5, and EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23. They have been tailored to suit a broad array of applications, ranging from automotive to medical applications.

The company offers comprehensive data on the material properties of all four metals—such as the number of test specimens on which the mechanical properties are based on—as well as detailed scanning electron microscope (SEM) images that provide an insight into the material quality. Thus, this documentation and transparency makes it easier for them to compare DMLS 3D printing with traditional manufacturing technologies and other 3D printing technologies. Such data and openness are a requirement for the use of additive manufacturing (AM) in series production.

Hannes Gostner, Director Research and Development, EOS said: “At EOS, the development of systems, materials, process parameters, software, and services have always gone hand in hand. All of the elements are perfectly aligned to each other. The result is reproducible high-quality parts at a competitive cost per part. This combination is of crucial importance, particularly for series manufacturing.”

The New Metal Materials In Detail

EOS StainlessSteel CX is a new tooling grade steel developed for production with the EOS M 290 that combines excellent corrosion resistance with high strength and hardness. Components made from this material are easy to machine and enable an excellent polished finish.

EOS Aluminum AlF357 is the ideal material for applications that require a light metal with excellent mechanical/thermal strength. Components made from this material are characterised by their light weight, corrosion resistance and high dynamic loading. EOS Aluminum AlF357 has been specially developed for production with the EOS M 400, but it is planned to also make the material available for the EOS M 290 system in the near future.

EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5 has been specially developed for its high fatigue strength without hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Suitable for production with the EOS M 290, the material also offers excellent corrosion resistance, making it ideal for aerospace and automotive applications.

EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23 has also been specially developed for its high fatigue strength without hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and for production with the EOS M 290. Compared to Ti64, Ti64 Grade 23 offers improved elongation and fracture toughness with slightly lower strength. Thanks to these properties, it is particularly well suited to medical applications.

Reliable Component Characteristics As Basis For Series AM

The technological maturity of all its polymers, metals, and processes are classified in the form of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). The TRL concept was developed by NASA and is established in numerous industries. Level 5, for example, refers to a verification of the technical solution, while the highest, level 9, refers to full production capability with extensive statistical data documentation. With validated parameters for part properties, the company is both facilitating and accelerating the transition to series production using additive manufacturing.

Furthermore, for easy orientation, materials and processes are divided into two categories: TRL 3–6 refer to CORE products, whereas TRL 7–9 refer to PREMIUM products and address the usage for series applications. One of the aims here is to make new materials available on the market with a clear value proposition.

The new materials belong to the following categories:

  • EOS StainlessSteel CX: Premium, TRL 8
  • EOS Aluminium AlF357: Premium, TRL 7
  • EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5: Premium, TRL 7
  • EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23: Premium, TRL 7

 

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NextGenAM Pilot Project For Automated Metallic 3D Printing A Success

NextGenAM Pilot Project For Automated Metallic 3D Printing A Success

Daimler has announced the successful conclusion of the “NextGenAM” pilot project which was launched in 2017 in partnership with EOS and AEROTEC. The project aimed to develop a digitalised next-generation manufacturing line which would be able to produce aluminium components for the automotive and aerospace sectors significantly more cost-effectively than is currently possible. “NextGenAM” has demonstrated huge potential for the production of replacement parts and series-production components as manufacturing costs could be reduced by up to 50 percent compared with existing 3D printing systems.

The integrated, scalable additive production chain covers all steps from data preparation to quality assurance. It is fully automated right through to the point where the printed parts are mechanically sawn off the build platform which means that no manual work is now required at any stage of the process. Furthermore, the machines are networked, and the entire production process runs itself from a central control, autonomous station.

This 3D printing process is particularly useful in the replacement part sector since, in the event of a tool problem, infrequently required parts can often be reproduced more cost-effectively than with conventional sand or pressure casting processes. Furthermore, 3D printing is also eminently suitable, for instance, for the production of the integrated base plates that carry the cooling lines for the batteries in electric vehicles.

The automation of the entire AM production chain will in future make it possible to manufacture larger batches in series production – with the same reliability, functionality, durability and economic efficiency as conventionally manufactured components. Components for new vehicles can be optimised for 3D printing during the design phase, bringing the promise of further advantages in terms of cost.

 

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