Recently, our Field Application and Development Engineer, Pär Arumskog, gained some valuable insights that we would like to share with you. After the event of Formnext Frankfurt 2023, he started imagining what the perfect EBM machine would consist of. Below is his Linkedin post where he reflects on how you could put different existing parts together to create something extraordinary.
It’s been two months since I represented VBN Components AB at hashtag#formnext and we have all had time to reflect a bit. I was inspired by the hashtag#ebm machine makers I saw on the fair so here is my ideal EBM machine.
It is also my wish list in a way, you will notice there is several items no one provides today! Perhaps someone will develop these for me and others interested?
o High acceleration voltage (150kV) from pro-beam Group
o High melt currents (40-60mA) from Freemelt AB
o High beam power (>=10kW) from e.g. GE Additive
o Shutter to keep column under vacuum from JEOL Ltd.
o Crystal cathode for long cathode life, from e.g. GE or JEOL
o Wayland’s NeuBeam to prevent smoke and reduce sintering needed
o Multi-EBU for larger machines from QBeam
o Short pump times (5 min) from Freemelt
o Load-lock to load/unload tank from Pro-beam
o Wayland Additive’s NeuBeam means I would use Ar as a process gas
o Active cooling of the build from Freemelt
· Powder distribution and handling:
o Hard to say but maybe GE Spectra H’s raking system, with Freemelt extra rake blades to prevent powder being flicked away by the rake
o Some combination of the powder hopper outside like Wayland to reduce pump times and Pro-beam’s idea of keeping all powder-touching parts in the tank to easily switch material
o Closed powder distribution from Pro-beam or maybe Freemelt i.e., operator should never touch powder around the machine
o Automatic setup of build in machine i.e., operator should not level start plate or do any other manual setup in the chamber
o Easy to operate and maintain, robust
o Pointmelt that prints almost without supports and gives good surfaces from GE
o No start plate needed, from GE
o Variable layer thickness inside and between layers, by whoever develops this for me
o Build temperature feedback using IR camera, from JEOL
o BSE detector feedback to correct defects during melting, by whoever develops this for me
o User-friendly software for setting up builds and on the machine, flexible enough to facilitate both process development and serial production
Process monitoring and feedback:
o IR camera from e.g. GE
o BSE detector from Freemelt (and soon JEOL)
o Powder layer monitoring camera from Wayland
o Powder distribution feedback from whoever develops this for me
o Build process analytics like GE’s Build Performance Analyzer but with 3D reconstruction of parts with identified defects etc, to be developed by someone
Just to make it clear, this is my personal opinion and I have made efforts to ensure that the info is public. If any of the companies mentioned feel otherwise, let me know asap.