Additive Manufacturing

With a unique combination of materials characterization and testing experience, joining expertise, and in-house capabilities, EWI leads the way in additive manufacturing by evaluating new processes, developing material property data, and innovating advancements for in-process quality monitoring and nondestructive inspection of complex 3D structures.

The Additive Manufacturing Team at EWI is enabling broader adoption of 3D printing and additive manufacturing by industry through the development, demonstration, and innovation of critical technologies along the AM process chain. At the core of additive manufacturing is the 3D printing process itself, which we view as an extension of conventional materials joining processes.

Laser Powder Bed Fusion

EWI brings together an unmatched, diverse, and solution-focused team of experts in 3D printing processes and design; and supporting engineers and scientists from disciplines such as fusion and solid state welding technologies (laser, arc, ultrasonic, friction), materials science, process sensing and controls, non-destructive evaluation, modeling and simulation, and structural mechanics. Our metal 3D printing process capabilities include laser and electron beam powder bed fusion, laser and arc directed energy deposition, binder jetting, and access to ultrasonic additive manufacturing through our affiliate Fabrisonic. EWI alsohas consumer- and industrial- grade polymer 3D printers for prototyping and studying design for additive manufacturing. In addition to process technologies, we possess powder and surface characterization capabilities, metallurgical characterization, mechanical testing, NDE capabilities, and will be installing powder production, x-ray computed tomography, and large-scale deposition facilities in the next 12 months.

The combination of expertise and equipment is focused on solving technical challenges and innovation in six primary areas: material/process development, process sensing and control, post process inspection, advancing additive manufacturing processes/machines, supporting property database generation, and design for additive manufacturing.

EWI also provides industry support through our Additive Manufacturing Consortium (AMC), which provides thought leadership and conducts collaborative sponsored projects to solve common challenges in metal additive manufacturing.

The EWI team has more than 40 years of combined experience in additive manufacturing, supported by EWI’s materials, nondestructive evaluation, lasers, arc welding, and design, controls, and automations groups. Based on this expertise and recent expansion in Buffalo, EWI has been able to quickly grow capabilities in additive manufacturing and solidify EWI’s AM team as a thought leader in the industry.

Technical Expertise

  • Process and Application Expertise
    • All Powder Bed Fusion processes
    • All Directed Energy Deposition processes
    • Solid State AM processes.
  • EOS North America material development partner.
  • Materials and process development
  • In-process sensing and quality control
  • Post process nondestructive inspection (UT, EC, X-Ray CT)
  • Qualification, Certification, and Design Allowable Generation
  • Metallurgy
  • Powder characterization
  • Heat treatment development
  • Property databases
  • Powder production/modification
  • Post-process inspection
  • Machine design and build
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing Processes and Materials

Equipment and Lab Resources

  • Objet Connex J750
  • MarkForged Mark Two
  • EOS M280
  • Arcam A2X
  • EWI Design and Built Open Architecture Laser Powder Bed Fusion for Sensor Evaluation.
  • Arc deposition robotic workcell
  • Laser deposition robotic workcell
  • ExOne Innovent
  • Fortus 450mc
  • Objet 30 Prime
  • Numerous Desktop 3D Printers including: LulzBot, Hyrel E5, RoboX 3D, XYZ Printing Da Vinci, Formlabs Form 1, PegasusTouch Printer, B9 Creator, Mojo, Cubify.
  • X-Ray CT, UT, ET
  • Powder Characterization
  • Powder Production
  • Surface Characterization
  • Materials Characterization and Testing

As the field of additive manufacturing has grown, so has our AM team and capabilities. We have remained committed to thought leadership that translates to solving real-world technology challenges, providing a unique perspective on big-picture manufacturing issues in AM. EWI is enabling broader adoption of additive manufacturing through the development, demonstration, and innovation of critical technologies along the AM process chain.

  • In Process Sensing: EWI is currently evaluating in-process sensing techniques for laser powder bed fusion processes, which includes thermal imaging pyrometers, high-speed video light detection (broadband and spectrographic), acoustic, machine vision, and other novel in-process sensing techniques. This work is funded through America Makes and NIST.
  • Post Process Inspection: EWI is leading America Makes and Air Force efforts to evaluate the current state of the art for post-process inspection applied to metal components produced by 3D printing processes. EWI has also guided the development of process parameter changes to overcome ultrasonic inspection challenges associated with complex titanium alloy microstructures.
  • Material and Process Development: As an EOS North America material development partner, we have developed process parameters for a number of engineering alloys, including alloy steels (4140), stainless steels (316, 420, 2205), nickel alloys (Haynes 282, nickel alloys 400, K-500, C-276), and refractory metals (zirconium alloys, tungsten, molybdenum).Many of these parameters have been transitioned to practice by our customers. We will be expanding this capability to the Arcam A2X platform in 2016.
  • Machine Development: The AM team explored and developed novel machine/process concepts to reduce cost,increase productivity, and incrolume of 3D printing machines. EWI also designed and built an open architecture laser powder bed fusion system for in-process sensor and other equipment modifications, and demonstrated equivalency to a commercial system.
  • Heat Treatment Development: EWI, through the Additive Manufacturing Consortium, has identified heat treatments that lead to an isotropic grain structure in nickel alloy 625 produced on laser powder bed fusion equipment.
  • Material Database Development: EWI, with funding through the Additive Manufacturing Consortium and NIST, has developed documentation and a roadmap to serve as a foundation for property database development.

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