AddUp and ORNL in a $2,7M deal to develop Metal Additive Manufacturing

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The France-based metal additive manufacturing company AddUp Group and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Department of Energy seeks to further advance powder bed fusion AM for the production of metal molds and tooling. 

3D printing is gaining a prominent position, as manufacturers are gradually realizing the benefits the technology affords. As plastic AM evolves, many are turning to the technology to produce on-demand parts like jigs or fixtures. Metal Additive Manufacturing, for its part, is increasingly being explored and adopted for the production of complex molds with integrated cooling channels and other features. By working together and leveraging their respective resources and knowledge, AddUp and ORNL aim to push powder bed fusion forward for the purpose of producing metal molds for the tooling industry. Among the partners joint goals for the project are improving the deposition rate of the powder bed fusion process to get more control over the metallurgical process and managing the qualification of steel tooling components.

ORNL brings its in depth knowledge of material properties and process parameters to the joint project, while AddUp will offer its expertise in industrial metal additive manufacturing.

The research project will be mainly conducted at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the partners will aim to develop validated 3D printing process parameters for printing metal molds and deepen the understanding of additive manufacturing tool steels and their microstructural properties. The research agreement also will be to investigate how to overcome existing geometric constraints associated with metal 3D printing using complex cooling channels.The partners will examine how cooling channels and complex structures can unlock applications for 3D printing in the tooling sector. The cooperation aims to facilitate the production of complex metal molds and die tooling using powder bed fusion while simultaneously reducing production times and optimizing performance.

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Tess Boissonneault, 3D Printing Media Network Addup and ORNL to advance Metal AM applications in tooling industry published on Jan7 2020, re-edited and published by João Andrade on Jan8 2020;

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