Tue, 21 May, 2019
TWI Ltd has ordered a new xBeam-18/I electron beam system from Ukrainian company Chervona Hvilya.
The xBeam-18/I features several important modifications that make it unique in the marketplace. Most notably, the system includes an exclusive electron beam Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology which uses a unique hollow conical electron beam as the heating source and coaxial supply of feedstock wire to the deposition area. With accuracy and deposition repeatability which is better than many existing wire-based metal additive manufacturing technologies, this machine provides good quality, a fast production rate, ease of operation and high levels of efficiency, while there is still scope for further development.
An order for the xBeam-18/I with wire feed electron beam additive manufacturing (W-EBAM) capability was placed following a public tender and the machine is to be located at TWI’s Cambridge facility on Granta Park. The machine is to be put to work on the Open Architecture Additive Manufacturing (OAAM) project, for which TWI is the lead partner. The OAAM programme plans to develop directed energy deposition (DED) additive manufacturing (AM) technologies that can be scaled up to accept multi-metre component sizes for the benefit of UK Aerospace. These new platforms will enable aerospace manufacturers and their supply chains to develop advanced AM manufacturing concepts.
Chervona Hvilya and TWI are working in close cooperation to deliver a system that will meet the specific requirements of the OAAM project. This includes the development of special software routines specified by TWI and the development of CAD/CAM control interfacing across the range of OAAM DED technologies, which are being created with the assistance of Autodesk.
Speaking on the new system, senior project leader, Dr. Sofia Del Pozo said, “The xBeam system and its unique feature that allows feeding the wire coaxially, will give us the opportunity to explore a great number of possibilities for 3D printing parts with wire. The system will offer a high level of flexibility along with precise process control. We are really excited about being the first ones to develop the xBeam coaxial system to produce metre-scale parts for the aerospace sector.”
The Chervona Hvilya xBeam system is due to arrive at TWI’s Cambridge facility in the autumn of 2019.
The OAAM project, which is supported by Innovate UK (ref:113164), commenced on the 1 January 2018 and will run for three years.