Powder Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a rapidly growing business. In the introductory speech, director Eduard Hryha highlighted that the demand of metal powder is steadily increasing. From 2018 to 2023 the expected need is fivefold. The sustainable AM development of cheaper powder, high-volumes and new alloys are longed for in all industries – aerospace, automotive, medical and more. With this in mind, it’s important to continue to deliver high quality research together with Swedish industry.
Successful three-year evaluation
It has gone three years since the Vinnova competence center CAM2 started, in September 2017. With the vision to bring powder-based metal additive manufacturing into industrial practice and to increase the use of it for added-value components, the evaluation of the three-year performance showed very good outcome.
Today CAM2 has 27 industrial partners and 5 research partners and Chalmers is the coordinator. With 60 researchers (39 senior + 21 PhD students) and around 120 representatives bringing industrial know-how in powder development and manufacturing, AM hardware and processing, high-end manufacturing by AM and postprocessing, the centre consolidate the most complete state-of-the-art infrastructure in Sweden.
Complete coverage of the AM manufacturing chain
During the day, the audience got a good overview from all of the seven research areas
(see separate page), covering the whole AM manufacturing chain, followed by an overview of SME projects, performed in the frame of the centre. The day ended with an overview over the state-of-the-art of AM implementation by some OEMs, represented in the centre.
Broadened SME competence in AM and new innovations
CAM2 put a lot of efforts to assure development of the whole additive manufacturing chain in Swede. One of such examples is the 3D-Fix project, a SME-case where Brogrens, Lasertech LSH, AIM Sweden and Cascade worked on development of fixtures by AM. They joined forces and with their background in machining, welding and additive manufacturing, came up with a new functional design. Developed fixture for TIG-welding of burners, the typical product in production by Brogrens, clearly showed significantly improved functionality of the fixtures, allowing to increase both, productivity (saving up to 40 hours/week for 4 TIG-welding setups at Brogren) and quality (protective gas flow during welding, possible only with such improved design).
Fredrik Olofsson from Brogren Industries also emphasized broadened competences and understanding of AM challenges by the SME partners involved. He also said it could lead to new partnerships. In all, a great case when it comes to both research and innovation.
Need of AM manufacturing chains in Sweden
Another SME project, coordinated by Matts Andersson from Ortoma AB and focusing on development of adapters for surgical instruments, also indicate importance of creating full AM manufacturing chain in Sweden to assure fast adoption of AM technology by SMEs. This project, in collaboration with AIM Sweden and Lasertech, allowed not only to successfully develop and manufacture components of interest by EBM and LPBF, but also to identify number of other components by the consortia. Axel Bergström, AIM Sweden AB, presented summary of process optimization of the Ti6Al4V EBM process through the use of Point Melting, developed by AIM Sweden, allowing to improve the quality of AM components by EBM.
Expanding product offerings and new materials
Update by Core industrial partners in the centre clearly show strong development in the area of AM by industrial partners.
Sigurd Berg show significant expansion of product offering and available materials for additive manufacturing, where Höganäs managed to become one of the leaders on the market for AM powders over the last three years.
Oskar Bruce and Per Gabrielson from Alfa Laval presented recently inaugurated (June 2020) AM Technology Centre in Eskilstuna, that despite of the covid-19 pandemic allowed AM team at Alfa Laval to successfully print more than 150 components until now.
Finally, Céline Souillet Sundberg showed update of the AM activities at GKN Aerospace Sweden, where AM is successfully utilized in production for the number of years and current R&D focus is placed on identification of the components and necessary process development with focus on powder bed fusion technologies.
Education and results dissemination
The eights focus area of CAM2 is the education and results dissemination. During last year there have been increased interest in courses in AM on MSc and BCS level, Summer schools and focused industrial workshops. New Tracks course “Design for Additive Manufacturing” with focus on design aspects of AM and AM Summer Course were developed at Chalmers over the year. In total there was 16 events attracting more than 1,000 participants from the beginning of 2019.
CAM2 is also supporting the Chalmers Formula Student in collaboration with EOS and Arcam, and the 2020 car had three metal AM parts, in addition to more than 60 polymer 3D printed components.
Strong research impact but covid-19 caused concerns
Strong research impact by the centre during the last year was emphasized. The scientific outcome is summarized in 34 journal and 16 per-reviewed conference publications. Results of the different research areas were presented on number of international conferences, in total 65 conference presentations were made by CAM2 research partners.
Negative impact of covid-19 pandemic on dissemination when it comes to the conference presentations, was emphasized as all the major events during 2020 where CAM2 was planning to actively participate, were canceled or shifted to 2021.
CAM2 hosted the AAMS2019 and will participate in co-organizing the next conference in Munich 2021. In January 2021, CAM2 will be co-organising the Swedish arena for metal AM: Academic online conference.
Next year CAM2 is planning to organize number of events, including CAM2 Spring School 2021, organization of AM session at EUROMAT 2021 and a workshop on Quality Assurance in AM with Carl Zeiss Mätcenter.
continues to spread results and news. Beside the web, CAM2
is now also present at Linkedin
, where news on findings, conferences, etc., are published. It’s already close to 1,000 persons following CAM2
Taking into account huge amount of generated results, it was also decided to organize additional CAM2 Annual Seminar at Chalmers during March 2021, if pandemic situation will allow organizing physical event. More information and updates will be provided soon through CAM2 web and LinkedIn!