Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Meltio’s 3E Metal Deposition Technology: Easy, Efficient and Expandable

ST Medical Devices

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Meltio has entered the 3D printing market to meet the needs of industries that have been waiting years for a reliable, accessible, and hassle-free solution to implement direct metal 3D printing into the production process.

Thanks to an exclusive development, Meltio’s unique patented technology brings many advantages compared to existing technologies in the industry. It’s what the company has called 3E Metal Deposition Technology: Easy, Efficient and Expandable.

Meltio defines its technology as easy because it avoids the inconveniences of existing metal 3D printers. The outer dimensions of the hardware are significantly compact (550x600x1400 mm), without the typical hassle of common and bulky industrial hardware, which usually needs special facilities and infrastructure. The multi-laser printhead, which is in fact the core of this technology, is able to manufacture with metal wire, which makes the operation clean and safe and with 100% material utilization.

Apart from this, the printers are able to fabricate parts with metallic wire, powder, or by combining both materials in the same part and without changing the nozzle, which is an industry first. The result is 100% dense metal parts made of any material commonly used in welding: titanium, steel, copper, aluminum, Inconel, etc.

The new development will also allow many companies to integrate metal 3D printing in their workflows, by lowering traditional access barriers in terms of pricing. The acquisition cost of hardware is about 50% to 75% lower than current market prices and material cost is up to 10 times lower, which is a significant step towards massive adoption of direct metal 3D printing.

Moreover, the possibilities of Meltio’s 3D printing are easily expandable thanks to the integration of 3D printing modules (Meltio Engine) with CNC, robotic, or gantry systems. This way manufacturing possibilities range from small parts to parts of several meters in size, turning traditional systems into hybrid ones with metal deposition capabilities. This makes the technology easily adaptable to multiple applications across various industries including aerospace, automotive, and large scale manufacturing.

How it works

3E Metal Deposition technology works with a multi-laser printhead with a high-power capacity (0.6 to 6 kw). The highly compact deposition head (150mm width/depth x 265mm height) features three independent diode lasers (although more lasers can be added as an upgrade for more power). The printing takes place within an argon chamber that only requires a small amount of gas or in an open atmosphere with just nozzle argon shield gas coverage. Furthermore, changing materials is automatic and accomplished in seconds without the risk of contamination, unlike powder bed fusion technology where it is necessary to perform time-consuming decontamination between material changes.

The system features active process control, which automatically sets the nozzle to part distance for each layer and also manages process parameters throughout the print based on sensor feedback.

Meltio’s unique laser technology allows the production of metallic alloys which are usually difficult to weld. In addition, more applications can be used besides 3D printing: repairing of existing parts through additive manufacturing, cladding, welding (autogenous and with filler), curing, texturing and polishing.

This technology has a significant endorsement through ArcelorMittal, the world leading steel manufacturing company, which has participated in the company since its formation, as a strategical partner.

Meltio is a new joint venture with the participation of Additec, an American company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sicnova, a Spanish company with a vast history in the 3D field.  its inception has been an international company with a clear global vision and offices in United States and Spain. The main headquarters and factory are located in Linares, Jaen (Spain), with R&D centers in both, the US and Europe.

Meltio’s new metal 3D printer, the Meltio M450, and the Engine deposition modules for hybrid manufacturing and robotic applications, will be showcased at Formnext November 19th-22nd (Hall 12.1, booth C111). The stand will also feature other additive manufacturing and 3D digitalization solutions from Meltio’s portfolio.

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