Arcam’s Q20 Aims for the Skies

Rachel mentioned in her Day 2 Report from Euromold that she learned of Arcam’s Q20 EBM machine. In a physical manifestation of the event’s mantra, the Q20 was meant to be bigger, faster and higher resolution. Arcam’s third generation EBM platform builds off of its predecessor, the Q10, with a larger build volume for the manufacture of aerospace parts.

build chamber q20 Arcam 3D Printer
Arcam Q20 build chamber, with heat shield

With a build envelope of 350 x 380 mm (about 14 x 15 inches) and the company’s latest electron beam gun, as well as faster cooling and better insulation for temperature control, the Q20 is billed as the company’s solution to additive aerospace manufacturing, for such components as turbine blades and structural airframe parts. The machine also utilizes a powder recovery system, which allows for the automatic recycling of unused powder, not dissimilar to the SLM Solutions release we covered yesterday. The Q20 features the Arcam LayerQam, for camera-based verification of inline part quality.  Arcam has also adapted its software for the production of a volume of parts.

As a now ‘relative newcomer to the industry, it’s probably one of the few trends of significance to me in that Arcam’s latest machine is indicative of a desire to be adopted by large manufacturers with high standards, and also high revenues.  Aerospace manufacturers at the Additive/Aerospace Summit were clamouring for better quality control. The LayerQam, in conjunction with an automatic powder recovery system, a larger build volume, and software modified for volume production is Arcam’s way of saying: “We’re ready for prime time!” We’ll just have to see if the aerospace industry agrees.

Source: Arcam