INSIDE Metal Additive Manufacturing

Flanders is one of the frontrunners in the field of Metal Additive 3D printing, but in order to achieve a large-scale breakthrough and lead companies to an industry of the future in Flanders (Industry 4.0), a number of barriers still need to be removed around material suitability and availability, insufficient and inconsistent material and product properties and production speed.

Programme

Spearhead Cluster-VIS project

Project duration

01/04/2018 – 30/09/2020

Objectives

Allow companies to make a faster and successful transition to the new production technology:

  • Raising awareness of and information about the impact of material selection, process parameters, (thermal) post-treatment on the (micro-) structure and properties.
  • Define guidelines for producing 3D printed pieces from ferro-alloys with good and consistent mechanical properties.
  • Evaluate performance and cost of the 3D printed piece compared to conventional production techniques.
  • Draw up a flowchart for the companies to identify the (im)possibilities of AM for their application and to orient them in their choice of material, process and aftertreatment for the production and use of parts with good and consistent properties.

Target group

The project is aimed at a broad target group of companies already active or with potential future activities along the entire value chain of 3D metal printing with (high strength) steels and stainless steel: (potential) producers of components via 3D printing, (potential) users, manufacturers of printing machines, aftertreaters (thermal treatment, surface treatment), suppliers of metals (powder, wire). The number of companies within this target group in Flanders is estimated at 240, of which the vast majority (92%) are SMEs.

  

Summary

Flanders is one of the frontrunners in the field of Metal Additive 3D printing, but in order to achieve a large-scale breakthrough and lead companies to an industry of the future in Flanders (Industry 4.0), a number of barriers still need to be removed around material suitability and availability, insufficient and inconsistent material and product properties and production speed.

The focus of the project is on the material side of additive printing with (high strength) steel and stainless steel. Powder bed (SLM), laser metal deposition (LMD) and Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) will be treated in the project. Throughout the entire project the link to existing knowledge and the comparison with conventional production technologies will be made for the input materials, the process, as well as the properties of the end component.

Result

The use of the project results will give companies:

  • Increased competitiveness through the supply/use of products with a higher added value ('customised', small series, longer lifetime, shorter delivery time, qualified) and lower production costs thanks to more consistent properties and efficient material deployment.
  • Shorter learning curves for companies taking their first steps.
  • Increased turnover for companies that print and supply goods and services.

Publications and presentations

One of the objectives of the INSIDE Metal AM project is to make practical knowledge about steel printing accessible to the general public. The publications and presentations below have already been published and can be requested by contacting the project manager.

  • Potential and challenges regarding additive manufacturing of steel alloys - The INSIDE project, Flam3D Info evening, 15/10/2019, Location: Aqtor!
  • Laser Metal Deposition under the microscope - Basics, Applications and Challenges, Metallerie No. 2004, 14/05/2020. The publication list referred to in the article can be found here.

Partners

Belgisch instituut voor Lastechniek (BIL) CRM Group  Strategic initiative Materials (SIM) Agenschap innoveren en ondernemen