Additive manufacturing involves adding molten metal in a layer-by-layer process to make 3D objects directly from CAD files, as opposed to using subtractive methods like traditional CNC machining.
Operational costs for molten metal additive manufacturing are high because of labour and depreciation of the equipment and also expensive powder costs. The powder cost is high because generally spherical, narrow size distribution is required. If the equipment cost comes down and labour gets more productive, powder becomes the mostly costly component of AM. The other major challenge is to de-risk Industry Adoption and Growth of business.
CSIRO has established a group of researchers and operators working on molten metal additive manufacturing.
CSIRO has an open house policy to Industry and for R&D. We offer:
The first process is the Arcam additive manufacturing facility, the first in the southern hemisphere, to provide industry with access to advanced electron beam melting technologies for three-dimensional (3D) printing of metals. The resulting quality is high, as the process is conducted in a vacuum and held at high temperatures during the entire build. The Arcam electron beam melting technology can be used with metals including titanium, titanium alloys and specialty steel alloys, such as nickel and cobalt chrome.
We are also establishing laser-based melting technologies.
CSIRO response to the costs of additive manufacturing is undertaking research projects and trade studies, with the aim of increasing speed, performance and affordability, by using:
CSIRO has undertaken a number of industry specific case studies already