Guidelines for additive manufacturing soon complete
2 December, 2020
Work has been somewhat delayed, due the pandemic, but is now in the final phase. Guidelines for Swedish industry for additive manufacturing will soon be available.
Project manager David Franklin, Swerim, shows grooves in the extremely smooth surface of the material in the most recent trials concerning cutting of one of the world's hardest steels for 3D printing, Vibenite 290.
“We are testing different cutting strategies in order to be able to recommend the most effective ways of machining this very hard and wear-resistant material", says David Franklin.
Additive manufacturing can result in significant cost reductions, of up to 40 percent, since the AM process minimizes material use while allowing new and advanced geometries. The field is relatively new, which is why guidelines specifically for Swedish industry have been lacking when it comes to 3D printing in metal.
“We saw a need for more knowledge in the industry,” explains David Franklin, project manager at metals research institute Swerim. Half of the project has to do with compiling existing data into complete guidelines, while the rest involves carrying out experiments to gain new knowledge about post-processing of AM components. The project Machining of AM components (MacAM), funded by Vinnova, has been under way for nearly a year. The project period has been extended by three months, due to the pandemic.
“Like everyone else, we are affected by corona. Among other obstacles, travel restrictions for industry partners have delayed the project, but we will be finished by March 2021,” says David Franklin.
The aim of the project is for these guidelines, the first in Sweden, to prompt more companies to take the step towards additive manufacturing by providing, among other things, recommendations for how the new, hard AM materials should be machined.
“3D printing in metal is becoming all the more common and of better quality. On the other hand, there is a need for knowledge as to how a component should be finished to achieve functional surfaces with exacting tolerances. But by providing clear guidelines we hope to increase the incentives for Swedish industry to adopt AM technology. If the recommendations are followed, the risk of incurring unforeseen costs at some stage of the process can be minimized,” explains David Franklin, Swerim.
MacAM (Machining of AM components) is a one-year Vinnova-funded project with a total budget of about 1.4 million kronor. Participating companies include 3M, Sandvik Coromant, VBN Components and Swerim.
David Franklin, Swerim, david.franklin [at] swerim.se, 073-057 52 80