Additive manufacturing applications range from the novel to the practical to even the downright impressive, and now Portuguese-based manufacturing company ADIRA is pushing the boundaries of what is possible even further with the introduction of the world’s largest Metal Part Printer.
Designed entirely in Solid Edge, the new AddCreator (AC) system boasts the largest working volume of any metal powder additive manufacturing machine. AddCreator employs a process pioneered by ADIRA that enables the manufacture of parts whose large size previously made them impossible to produce using traditional additive manufacturing techniques. This process, called Tiled Laser Melting (TLM), divides the existing work area into smaller segments or tiles to be processed sequentially. Not only does this enable more efficient and flexible production of large-scale parts, TLM also makes it possible to produce parts larger than the AC’s build chamber volume. That is only one part of the equation, though.
TLM is based on a powder-bed fusion (PBF) system, and while other metal PBF 3D printers have a fixed build chamber, AddCreator has a build chamber that is both modular and movable. This means that, since the build chamber moves around the powder bed during the printing process and the production volume isn’t limited by its dimensions, the concept is completely scalable. This way, the building envelope may be adapted to the end-user’s needs, while keeping the same concept, as the chamber is a module by itself, including the necessary optical processing equipment and maintaining ideal atmospheric conditions while processing.
The new technological capabilities introduced by ADIRA with AC pave the way for greater innovation in design. Consider that there are now fewer limits on what you can achieve with additive manufacturing. The efficiency gains one sees from simply replacing a few components in an assembly with light-weighted versions can now be amplified to new magnitudes with the ability to print entire jet engines, car doors, and more.
That’s not the only way ADIRA is changing the game in the area of additive manufacturing, however. With the capabilities in AC—such as an automated powder cycle that makes cleaning and sieving used powder easier—ADIRA is making the industrial technology of additive manufacturing more accessible to end-users than ever before. Additionally, new accessibility features are being provided, making it easier to remove large parts, by means of external handling, increasing the potential for integrating this system within an industrial production chain.
ADIRA presented these exciting new advancements with the world’s largest metal part printer, designed entirely in Solid Edge, at the FormNext conference in Frankfurt just a few weeks ago. You can read more about the company and the technology behind their innovative achievements on 3D Printing Industry's website.