Customer-specific products, greater variation of design, shorter innovation cycles, and breaching the gap between small batch sizes and mass production are modern day challenges of manufacturing companies. One promising approach is additive manufacturing. This allows considerable improvement in the manufacturing economics due to the concomitant reduction in material and plant costs, shorter production time, and enhanced component design.
Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) is a powder bed based method whereby components are generated layer by layer by melting a powder with an electron beam. Besides the beam source, the process differs from other additive manufacturing methods in the following ways:
In 3D screen printing the component is built up by a paste which contains metal powder via a screen printing process. Special features of the technology are as follows:
Additive manufacturing methods can potentially lead to completely new production chains and products. For metallic components, powder based methods allow much greater freedom of design and the use of a very wide range of materials. Fraunhofer IFAM has state-of-the art equipment and longstanding know-how of materials and powder metallurgy. This expertise in technology and materials provides an excellent basis for Fraunhofer IFAM to assist with implementation in industrial production.