CIMP-3D at Penn State expands capabilities in additive manufacturing

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. — The Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition, or CIMP-3D, at Penn State is expanding its world-class capabilities in metal-based additive manufacturing (AM) with the recent installation of three large format additive manufacturing systems: a 3D Systems’ DMP Factory 500 powder bed fusion additive manufacturing system (PBFAM), a wire-arc additive manufacturing system (WAAM) from ABB Inc., and a SPEE3D cold spray metal AM machine.

Multiple lasers are used in the 3D Systems DMP Factory 500 to turn metal powders into solid parts. The system is able to utilize a variety of metal alloys in making precise components impossible to create with traditional manufacturing techniques. This cutting-edge machine includes features such as an internal camera, high speed video and other custom sensors to monitor the build process, as well as modules to recover and recycle metal powders in an inert environment. The DMP Factory 500 was installed at Penn State in support of a program to modernize products for the U.S. Army.

A welding arc connected to a robot expands the scale at which parts can be additively manufactured. The freestanding ABB Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing system does not need to operate in a contained space or manage powders — so it can build large components. The WAAM system is complemented by its larger sister laser-based robot AM system commissioned 2 years ago, which can build parts taller than a person by combining a 12 kW laser with metal powder or wire.

Supersonic gas jets propel powders at such high speeds they stick to parts and can quickly build new parts in the newly installed SPEE3D system. A major advantage of this technology is the ability to use it in the field to manufacture or repair components in minutes, rather than hours. One of the fastest and most economical systems in the additive manufacturing field, it can be deployed where it is needed. This flexibility brings the ability to create new parts into harsh environments.

With these recent additions, CIMP-3D at Penn State is extending its already world-class capabilities within metal-based additive manufacturing. These systems complement the wide range of research conducted at Penn State in all aspects of additive manufacturing. To learn more about the programs and industry-leading research happening at Penn State, visit the web sites of the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State and of the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) at Penn State.

For more information, contact Edward W. “Ted” Reutzel, director of CIMP-3D, at 814-863-9891 or ewr101@arl.psu.edu; or Timothy J. Eden at 814-865-5880 or tje1@arl.psu.edu.

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