The first EBM (electron beam melting) additive manufacturing machine to be found in a university environment will be unveiled on 8 April 2013 at Grenoble INP. The work carried out on architectured materials and new design methods offers major prospects in terms of research and industrial applications.
Grenoble INP has just acquired a new item of high-tech equipment: an EBM additive manufacturing machine. The first of its type in a French university, the machine is only the fourth across all sectors in France. The machine has been acquired as the result of a partnership between the CEMAM Labex (Centre of Excellence for Multifunctional Architectured Materials) - the main source of funding for such equipment - Grenoble INP, the AIP PRIMECA DS and the Scientific Interest Group on Architectured Materials between the INSA at Lyon and Grenoble INP.
The electron beam melting of metals allows the construction of three-dimensional parts by the selective melting of a bed of powder layer by layer. This technology, which is similar to the 3D printers now widely used for polymers, can be used to produce customised architectured metallic materials that satisfy complex and multifunctional specifications that traditional materials are not able to meet. This is an issue at the heart of CEMAM Labex in general and the work of the SIMaP Laboratory (Materials and Processes Science and Engineering Laboratory) in particular.
This technology revolutionises the methods for designing part and meets the principles of eco-manufacturing, especially regarding waste reduction, compared to conventional material removal technologies. In addition, it makes it possible to obtain complex shapes that are impossible to manufacture using conventional processes.
The G-SCOP and SIMaP laboratories have just launched a partnership that closely combines the process aspects and material properties of EBM. The machine is available to researchers at Grenoble INP's FabLab GI-Nova.