What do Lockheed Martin, DARPA, Boeing, and the U.S. Air Force have in common when it comes to 3D Printing? Number one, they are some of the leaders in the utilization of the technology, and number two, they have all had access to 3D metal printers created by Sciaky, Inc.
Sciaky, Inc, a subsidiary of Philips Service Industries (PSI), has been known for their industry leading welding systems and services, as well as their groundbreaking Electronic Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) process, which was launched back in 2009. This additive manufacturing process has only been made available as a service to companies such as Lockheed Martin, DARPA, Boeing, and others that require assistance in producing large-scale prototype and production parts up to 19 feet in length, made of high-valued metals. These metals include titanium, tantalum, stainless steel, cobalt alloys, nickel alloys, copper nickel alloys and inconel.
These EBAM machines, are 3D printers capable of printing large scale objects using multiple metals. Today, Sciaky announced that they will begin making these incredible EBAM machines available for purchase by large companies, starting on September 1, 2014.
“Starting with a 3D model from a CAD program, Sciaky’s fully-articulated, moving electron beam gun deposits metal, layer by layer, until the part is complete,” explains the company on their product description brochure. “Depending on the part being manufactured, deposition rates can range up to 250 cubic inches per hour.”
The build envelope of the EBAM machine can be as large as 19 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet. This allows for the creation of objects of very large sizes, just what companies like Boeing (airplane parts), the U.S. Army, and Lockheed Martin need.
“Manufacturers, for the first time, will be able to utilize Sciaky’s revolutionary additive manufacturing technology to produce production parts and prototypes in their own facility,” explained Mike Riesen, general manager of Sciaky, Inc. “The possibilities are endless.”
Sciaky claims that using their additive manufacturing process will:
• Drastically reduce material costs – Aerospace Tier 1 suppliers calculate “Buy-to-Fly” ratios for structural Titanium parts that are machined from a billet or forging. For example, a 250 lb billet that nets a 5 lb ﬂy away part would have a “Buy-to-Fly” ratio of 50.
• Slash machining time by as much as 80%.
• Dramatically shorten lead times – The fastest process for many ﬁrst article parts is through the use of off-the-shelf ﬂexible tooling.
The EBAM machines are not by any means meant for at-home use. While Sciaky doesn’t state what the cost will be for companies looking to purchase one of these massive 3D metal printers, I would imagine that it will surely be in the $X,XXX,XXX – $XX,XXX,XXX range. It won’t be a machine that just any company can afford to purchase. Perhaps one day in the future this technology will reach a point where smaller companies and individuals will be able to utilize it for their own benefit.
What do you think about the sale of these large, industry leading 3D metal printers from Sciaky? Discuss in the Sciaky 3D Metal Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video on Sciaky’s EBAM technology below:
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