The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) published its first commissioned university research project, a literature-based systematic review of the environmental benefits of metal AM. The paper, “State of Knowledge on the Environmental Impacts of Metal Additive Manufacturing,” was written by Dr. Jeremy Faludi from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Dartmouth College and Corrie Van Slice, a former senior research engineer at Faludi’s lab at Dartmouth. Van Slice is now a manufacturing sustainability research engineer at TU Delft. According to its authors, the report synthesizes existing academic literature comparing environmental impacts of metal AM with conventional manufacturing methods and provides context with impacts of common metals and processing methods found in a materials database.

Key takeaways:

  • While AM generally has much higher carbon footprints per kilogram of material processed than conventional manufacturing (CM) when considering the direct manufacturing process itself, impacts depend greatly on part geometry
  • The need for additional life cycle assessment (LCA) studies to quantify environmental impacts to definitively compare metal AM to CM; especially direct comparisons of AM to machining, and for binder jetting and directed-energy deposition (DED); LCAs should also include more of the product life cycle

SDK connects AM to the smart factory

Stratasys software tools integrate its 3D printers in production environments with the factory floor via the GrabCAD Software Development Kit (SDK). Each SDK package includes application programming interfaces (APIs), documentation, and code samples for development partners and manufacturing customers to establish two-way connectivity between Stratasys FDM 3D printers and enterprise software applications. Users can integrate, manage, and support additive manufacturing (AM) for production of end-use parts.

Initial partners for the GrabCAD SDK program include Link3D and Identify3D.

The first two available SDK packages enable users to integrate with GrabCAD Print software and Stratasys manufacturing systems including the F900, Fortus 450mc, and F123 Series of FDM 3D printers.

6K Additive expands metal powder production team

Dr. George Meng, John Meyere, Joe Muha

6K and 6K Additive, developer of additive manufacturing (AM) powders derived from sustainable sources, has hired AM experts who bring extensive knowledge in quality, powder manufacturing, and process as the organization begins production of its onyx line of AM premium powders in its recently commissioned 40,000ft2 lights-out facility.

Recent additions to the team include:

  • Dr. George Meng, Director of Process for Additive
  • John Meyer, Director of Technology, AM Products
  • Dave Novotnak, Production Process Manager, AM Products
  • Joe Muha, Quality Manager, AM Products

EOS, Texas A&M partner on AM professional development

Metal and polymer 3D printing technology supplier EOS has partnered with Texas A&M University (TAMU) to provide a professional development program in industrial 3D printing. Using virtual learning with conventional training methods, the additive manufacturing (AM) program offers a hands-on, expert-led training program to meet evolving industry needs and challenges.

In concert with EOS’ applied engineering group Additive Minds, the TAMU Engineering Experiment Station program takes a deep dive into the latest powder bed AM processes – such as direct metal laser solidification (DMLS) and selective laser sintering (SLS), as well as an understanding of other AM processes, materials, design, case studies, best practices, and troubleshooting. The certificate-level training program was developed by subject matter experts from TAMU (Dr. Alaa Elwany, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering and director of the metal AM laboratory) and EOS’ Additive Minds Consultants Maryna Ienina and Dr. David Krzeminski.