GE Additive unlocks development mode for EBM metal 3D printing

From November GE Additive will be offering academic researchers the ability to access previously locked down features on the Arcam EBM A2X metal additive manufacturing systems.

Access to development mode on electron beam melting industrial 3D printers typically comes with an additional fee, however GE Additive are hoping that by providing existing customers free access EBM applications will receive a boost.

Approximately 20 academic and research institutions own an EBM A2X, a number GE Additive is also aiming to increase with a limited discount offer. Ten EBM A2X systems will be made available at a special price to qualifying organizations.

arcam ebm a2x 3d printer
The Arcam EBM A2X additive manufacturing system.

“We see this as a first step in giving our customers in academia the possibility to customise how materials are melted and the Arcam team will work together with them to further enable process, sensor, and hardware customisation to unlock the true potential of the EBM technology,” commented Isak Elfstrom, Vice President of Research at Arcam EBM. “By opening up the A2X, we also want to empower and inspire the next generation of engineers and material scientists to fulfil the potential of additive. By removing constraints and barriers to make additive technology platforms and parameters as open as possible, we want these smart minds to think even more laterally, around corners and invent and innovate.

“Rest assured, though, the key does not unlock the security features on the system.”

The key to unlocking development mode with be  made available in November at the earliest.

Examples of how existing users have tapped into the development settings on the AX2 include work done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The ORNL team used EBM to control microstructure orientation with a high degree of precision. Other projects include work done at Germany’s University of Erlangen-Nuremberg where EBM was used to make a full-length single crystal CMSX-4.

“These are only some of the extraordinary results that has come out from our academic customers in the last few years,” said Elfstrom.

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Featured image shows the first look at the GE Additive Arcam Spectra. Photo by Beau Jackson.