Applied research consortium will install a direct metal laser-sintering (DMLSTM) system for industrial 3D printing applications in its production lab
The first additive manufacturing (AM) OEM invited to join the Virginia-based Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) is EOS, the technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions in the AM and industrial 3D printing sector.
“We are excited about the additional expertise and capability EOS brings to CCAM in one of our key technology focus areas of additive manufacturing,” says Joe Moody, president & executive director of CCAM.
CCAM will have one of the earliest installations of EOS’ latest direct metal laser-sintering (DMLSTM) systems, the EOS M 290, in its large-scale production lab. There they will further explore the technology’s ability to manufacture end products for aerospace and other industries. EOS will work with CCAM members to develop AM solutions that match the needs of the organizations involved.
“EOS often partners with its customers to refine their use of laser sintering,” says Andrew Snow, senior vice president at EOS North America, Inc. “CCAM will enable us to draw on the experience of our fellow members and collaborate to create organization-specific additive applications.”
For instance, collaborating with a company that creates surfacing tools may help determine whether an abrasive polish or a coating method will offer the right finish for a particular alloy. In the case of a near-net DMLS part, a milling or CNC cutting process might be more appropriate. And the resulting production line may be guided via the control hardware and software produced by yet another member. “Given the varied capabilities CCAM encompasses, the opportunity to explore how our technology meshes with that of others has significant value,” Snow says.
“Whenever I speak with current and prospective member companies, one of the first questions they ask is, ‘What is your current work with additive manufacturing?’” says Dr. Bob Fagan, chief technology officer at CCAM. “So EOS’ membership is important for us, especially considering they offer a sophisticated technology that can produce finished products to high specifications. We’re all looking forward to seeing what we create in conjunction with EOS.”
CCAM is unique among industrial consortia in that it offers its members a shared facility for R&D while protecting their individual intellectual property and market position. Through the use of joint resources, the Center provides a hub for the most advanced manufacturing techniques and procedures being practiced today. Companies such as Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Chromalloy are working alongside, not only one another, but in collaboration with academic teams from Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Old Dominion University and Virginia State University. Roughly 50 student interns participate in the Center.
The Center’s resources go beyond what individual members could marshal alone. The 62,000 square-foot facility at the Center’s Prince George County home includes computational software and hardware, and production labs with a broad range of technologies, including die-sink EDM and 5-axis cutting machines, CMM equipment, and surfacing apparatus such as plasma spray, thermal spray, and media blasting systems. The facility also has high bays to accommodate commercial-scale equipment.
Filed Under: 3D printing • additive manufacturing • stereolithography, Rapid prototyping