Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing As an Alternative to Forging
Sciaky Inc., a company based in Chicago, Illinois, has fewer than 60 employees today, but company leaders are preparing for its workforce to double or triple in the years to come. The company specializes in large-scale welding systems, but soon, the bulk of its activity might focus on a welding-derived technology for additive manufacturing. “Electron beam direct manufacturing,” or EBDM, holds considerable promise for defense aeronautics company Lockheed Martin—which intends to use it to reduce titanium part-production costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin has joined Sciaky in a U.S. Department of Defense “Mentor-Protégé” agreement aimed at advancing the technology to realize these savings.
Boyce Technologies was already a leader in manufacturing communications devices, but 3D printing and a partnership with BigRep have helped it remain competitive—first through prototyping, and now in production.
Manufacturers in the aerospace industry buy expensive raw material with one common goal: to make it fly. To reduce its buy-to-fly ratio (the ratio of material inputs to final part output), this company turned to wire arc additive manufacturing to create near-net shape parts.
Vertical Layer Printing (VLP) 3D prints layers perpendicular to the floor, extending Z height to the length of the print bed — as long as 40 feet.