Slovenian inventor uses magnetic levitation in Metal Additive Manufacturing

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A new PCT patent application by a Slovenian inventor has been published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a national patent has been granted for the invention. The patent describes a novel machine which uses magnetic levitation of powder materials for positioning in a volumetric printing space. Melting is performed by the plurality of electron beams enabling spatial melting of powder materials.

The proposed technical solution enables volumetric 3D printing of entire objects at once, opening a new chapter of additive manufacturing, especially of metals.

Volumetric additive manufacturing is a new term coined by the recent development in Additive Manufacturing and it describes technologies where objects are manufactured by sequential fabrication of its volumetric parts rather than in a layer-by-layer manner. In many cases entire objects can be printed at once, drastically speeding up the process and reducing the printing time.

Credits: Creative Technologies/Zavod Park

The newly published patent describes a technical solution for volumetric fabrication based on powder materials and promises a substantially faster additive manufacturing of objects. Faster speeds could have a big impact on the demand for mass-production of 3D printed parts, as well as the demand for fabrication of spare 3D, printed parts on-site. The newly published patent is one of the very few technical solutions known to date, which enable volumetric Additive Manufacturing of metals. It also describes a process of manufacturing objects from inside out, in order to overcome the problem of negative and overhang angles of the geometry of the object in fabrication.

The described method of fabrication of an object from inside out largely widens the scope of possible geometries of objects which can be manufactured without the ‘support’ material, resulting in less material used.

Credits: Creative Technologies/ Zavod Park

The proposed solution could also bring promising benefits to 3D printing in space, as magnetic levitation of powder materials would be highly effective for use in zero gravity. As the use of 3D printed metal parts spreads across the industry, the demand for faster and more efficient industrial 3D Printing machines grows every day. The patent aims to fulfill the need for the development of the next generation of industrial Additive Manufacturing machines.

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Source: The article was gently conceded by Zavod Park and re-edited by João Andrade on Jan8, 2019;