Additive Manufacturing Center
Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) is a breakthrough technology that influence the entire production world. It has a great impact on the whole chain of production, from the design and development stages to the manufacturing itself. AM enables the creation of geometrical complex products that are beyond imagination and which cannot be produced in any other way. The geometrical freedom allows the production of light weight parts with low material waste while maintaining mechanical requirements. Also, parts that are produced separately with conventional manufacturing methods and assembled later on to the desired component, can be produced as a single unit while using AM. AM reduces the time to market since it is a fast route from CAD to a physical product, and also improves the development stage by increasing the number of prototyping iteration. In light of all this, the technology is being used in a wide range of industries from aerospace, aviation and automotive to medical implants and even in sport. Ultimately, using additive manufacturing a lighter and stronger parts can be produced while saving material, weight and product development time and thus reduce production cost.
AM center offers enhancing design oriented to 3D printing, a rapid prototyping from polymers and production of near net shape, high-quality titanium parts in a matter of days. The center has the ability to prepare models or parts before printing them in metal, to assist in the development process of the prototype or final product. For example, one can print sections of complicated parts to be used as a sample of the final product, or create a sample to verify a design in case of connecting a product to an existing assembly. The design considerations of parts manufactured by AM differ from those produced by casting or machining, and enable the design of a dedicated part that takes into consideration the functionalities, part requirements and weight savings by creating areas in net geometry while controlling the mechanical strength distribution in the part volume. The parts manufacturing in the center undergo quality assurance tests to ensure compliance with conventional material standards and customer requirements.
AM center specializes in printing titanium alloys (Grade 2, 5, 23) and a wide range of polymers. Titanium parts are printed using Electron Beam Melting Powder Bed Fusion (EBM-PBF) technique of AM and thus carried at vacuum. The fact that the process is performed under vacuum causes to vacant pores, (compared to Ar, when produced with Laser Based techniques) and thereby easier to compressed at the post process stages in order to enhance the density (optional). Moreover, the vacuum atmosphere decreases dramatically the amount of O2 concentration inside the build chamber and thus reduces the oxidation of the parts. This enables the production of high quality fully dense parts (at least 99.5%). The use of electron beam significantly eliminates the residual stress inside the parts which reduces the need for complementary heat treatment and saves stages in post processing.
The center also serves as a platform for research and development of new products and materials and has a number of collaborations with universities and other research organizations from all over the world.
Dr. Eitan Tiferet
Head of Additive Manufacturing Center