3D Printers

GE Additive introduces new metal 3D printers, materials and software at Formnext 2019

GE Additive, an award-winning 3D printer OEM, has introduced two metal additive manufacturing systems, the Arcam EBM Spectra L and the Concept Laser M2 Series 5, and an automated powder recovery station at Formnext 2019.

In addition to new hardware, the company has also debuted development material (D-material) support for pure copper and highly-alloyed tool steel as well as a new suite of machine health data analytics known as the Arcam EBM Build Performance Analyzer.

“As our customers evolve and start to ramp up high volume production, we will also continue to evolve our machine portfolio to meet their needs for repeatability, usability, and quality,” said Chris Schuppe, general manager – engineering, GE Additive.

A batch of 3D printed brackets made on the Arcam EBM Spectra L. Photo via GE Additive.
A batch of 3D printed brackets made on the Arcam EBM Spectra L. Photo via GE Additive.

The Arcam EBM Spectra L

As the latest addition to the Arcam Electron Beam Melting (EBM) Spectra series, the Spectra L is designed for large titanium applications that cannot be achieved with a laser. It currently supports grade 5 Ti6Al4V, and grade 23 Ti6Al4V. The system has a build envelope of Ø350x430mm, approximately double the volume of the Spectra H.

With 4.5 kW beam power, the Spectra L is said to increase build speed by 20% when compared to the Arcam EBM Q20plus. Furthermore, it completes a full build height 4.5 hours quicker than the Q20plus due to powder layering and heat model control system improvements.

Furthermore, the Arcam PRS 30, an automated powder recovery station, was released to create a closed system containing powder exposure for operators working in industrial additive manufacturing environments.

The Arcam EBM Spectra L. Photo via GE Additive.
The Arcam EBM Spectra L. Photo via GE Additive.

The Concept Laser M2 Series 5

The Concept Laser M2 Series 5 is the latest iteration of the M2 Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) additive manufacturing system. It has been designed for increased serial production with high-quality parts, particularly used in the medical and aerospace sectors.

It features a build volume of 350mm (z-axis for taller parts) 245mm x 245mm. The M2 Series 5 has also been upgraded for improved part consistency and uses a gas flow system with redundant oxygen monitoring for part quality and minimized filter changes. Moreover, a new optical cooling function features over 10 internal sensors for a more controlled build environment.

“Over the past year, teams from GE Additive have worked closely with colleagues at GE Aviation – which operates a fleet of M2s – to get direct feedback,” added Schuppe. “Co-located teams collaborated on the critical characteristics needed for the next iteration of the M2 and to make a good part, but also on input on the mechanical operations, performance, and productivity of the machine, and on improvements in reliability and quality.”

The Concept Laser M2 Series 5. Photo via GE Additive.
The Concept Laser M2 Series 5. Photo via GE Additive.

Supporting copper and steel 3D printing 

In tandem with the new industrial metal 3D printers, GE Additive has announced the general release of D-material support for pure copper and highly-alloyed tool steel used in EBM processes for 2020. According to the company, this material addresses increased customer interest for more complex parts with pure copper.

“We have opted to take an open, collaborative approach and will review feedback from customers using the D-material, and gauge their long-term interest, before considering how we approach industrializing the materials,” said Karl Lindblom, general manager, Arcam EBM.

The Arcam EBM Build Performance Analyzer has also been launched to collect data during the printing process from in-situ machine sensors, this provides users with a holistic view of process and machine health. The software can run on both the machine itself or on a user’s laptop. It is presently available for Arcam EBM Q10 and Q10plus customers.

A 3D printed pure copper induction coil. Photo via GE Additive.
A 3D printed pure copper induction coil. Photo via GE Additive.

The Arcam EBM Spectra L and the Concept Laser M2 Series 5 are available now and will be shipped in Q1 of 2020. The prices of these systems have not been disclosed. The Arcam PRS 30 powder recovery station is also available for order, with first deliveries expected in Q2 2020.

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Featured image shows a batch of 3D printed brackets made on the Arcam EBM Spectra L. Photo via GE Additive.

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