Interview with Fabio Sant´Ana of Farcco Tecnologia About Metal Printing and 3D Printing in Brazil
Farcco Tecnologia is a company devoted to introducing Additive Manufacturing technologies to the Brazilian Industries, it is specialized in real metal additive production technology, and is really reaching out to every possible specialization in AM . The main focus is expanding the knowledge of Brazilian market. Farcco researches and finds the most important technologies thru shows, conferences , training and suppliers to make Brazilian Industries to reach the same level of capability and expertise found overseas .
The Brazilian Additive Manufacturing market is developing in slower pace, the last 8 years did hold Brazil back in terms of R&D. In a not growing, or more in a depressed economy, is hard for companies to justify investment in new, and technology advanced, manufacturing capacities. Starting in 2018 with the new government , companies started to forecast economic growth for the next years and this made the industrial environment reach out to us, for 3D printing, to revamp their production resources. In Brazil the medical market is the first adopter in additive and had the first equipment, this is being used for manufacturing titanium implants. During 2017 and 2018, more companies are beginning to understand the real advances of the technology and its benefits in quality, product development and cost saving features. Aerospace started to evaluate AM during 2018 and the first metal machine should be working in Q1 2019 . Most machines installed before this new boom time are in Universities and Research Institutes.
Brazil has a very limited investment capability, this is what holds us back, the startup environment is not well supported by banks and startups normally only rely on Private Equity and Angel Investments. AM is very capital intensive in case of equipment for startups and this makes it difficult to do.
Yes , companies have started to realize the beauty of the technology. Many companies are looking for information in that area,, and some have already started to R&D using smaller or cheaper machines to be able to develop and go for real production machines in a shorter time.
Call me ! … Joking … anyway , Brazil is different in many ways. Lack of infrastructure and investment as well as a difficult tax structure create many entrance barriers for foreign companies , To find a very knowledgeable local partner is something that can keep the company on right track with the right information one can jump many steps and problems. To invest in training of locals to support the “pre” and “after” sales is also a good advice . Brazilian Industry is used to local support and short service time.
“Most of the actual opportunities are in medical , so beside of metals, medical polymers and bio-printing can be better explored . We are growing also in Oil & Gas and Renewable Energy, both have good growth in Brazil , Additive has great features for these areas.”
The EBM process has some nice specific characteristics that benefit reactive materials such as titanium, it can supply more energy and generates up to 70 simultaneous melt pools. This is what lets you grow fast compared with other process that have 1 , 2 or 4 melt pools. The way electron beam hits the powder is different than laser, that is basic light and has its particular ways of propagation reflection etc. In EBM energy loss is much lower that also benefits the process. EBM is a less precise in terms of geometry, but can stack parts filling the build chamber, another benefit in terms of production quantities and gives one more balanced building cycles. Each process has its advantages. Laser has a very good precision and also better finished surface, this can work well with steel and forms a less compact build cake what makes cleaning the powder easier in cases of something such as conformal cooling . In Additive Manufacturing each process has its right business case. Every technology has its niches and must be well understood to give you the best results.
The Q10+ and Q20+ have reached a very stable processing and performance. The Spectra is a big chamber focused on TiAl and bigger quantites. The products are all reaching a very mature state.
Let me tell you how I started in Additive, I’ve been a machining guy since 1991 when I left the Precision Mechanics Technical High School. I’ve been supplying the market with CNC machining equipment since 1992 had to develop skills in 3D manufacturing since that time , from complex mass production processes to really difficult 5 axis applications all in my range. In 2013 a medical implants company R&D manager and friend came to me with a very crazy part he found in Europe and asked me how to make that thing. I told him ” I dont know , yet “. My Additive journey started in that day of 2013, after almost 6 years researching, learning, teaching and going all over the world to be able to implement additive equipment and technologies, I know that each technology has its case, binder jetting cases will appear, no doubt. But, for now, I don’t know yet.
EBM has very good performance in medical and Aerospace, most of the companies in those segments are paying attention to EBM. For larger structural parts Sciaky makes an EBAM based machine that melts wire forming near net shapes for posterior machining, its a processe that speeds up the production of this components a lot , it has potential to short by months the development and manufacturing of large titanium and other metals parts. In Brazil, we don’t have any Sciacky EBAM yet.
I really agree with you, but the economics are against it right now, To use a DED head over a mold inside a CNC machining center makes more than sense. However, DED heads or Hybrid machines need economically to fight against a regular machining center that receives a mold filled by a very experienced welder. When you put that in your financial spreadsheet you have the answer why this is not being more used. The final shape and precision will come from the machining anyway, and you already have the welder in your payroll, so …
AM is a marvelous tech, I think we are only scratching the surface of the technology and the new designs made by biomimetcs and topology and generative systems will give us products we cannot even imagine now… so the sky is the limit.?
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