Take part in the Connect – MetalAM project of VIVES and BIL

How to optimally combine metal 3D printing with conventional technologies?

The production of parts by means of Additive Manufacturing techniques is becoming more and more established. There are already 18 (!) different techniques commercially available to make metal parts using Additive Manufacturing. The techniques are very diverse and suitable to produce small (e.g. via powder bed (LPBF)/MIM based techniques) or large, rather rough pieces (e.g. via cladding (=DED), WAAM).

Powder bed technology (SLM=LPBF, EBM), cladding (=DED), WAAM and MIM based techniques are the most common on the market, with each technique having its specific advantages and disadvantages. LPBF (SLM) is mainly used in the medical sector, aerospace and tooling. Metal printing in construction, mechanical engineering and mechanical design, on the other hand, is lagging behind.

In order to make optimal use of the advantages of metal printing, it is important to apply this technique where it offers clear added value. This is why VIVES Smart Technologies and Belgisch Instituut voor Lastechniek (BIL) are launching a project to investigate this. Using the strengths of both metal 3D printing (MetalAM) and conventional techniques (sheet metal working, casting, machining), they will investigate how these can be combined in an optimal way.

Via this project, VIVES Hogeschool and BIL, together with you, want to contribute to the following themes:

  • In what ways can we connect metal printed parts to conventionally manufactured parts?
  • What are the guidelines for the optimal combination of conventional techniques and MetalAM techniques?
  • What are the consequences of the applied welding process/joint for the (mechanical) properties of the parts and for the connection itself?

Why can this project add value for you?

  • The project deals with priority cases from the guidance group;
  • You will discover the possibilities of MetalAM at first hand;
  • You end up in an interdisciplinary team, where various actors from the business world are present;
  • You actively participate in an innovative project and stay on top of the latest insights and developments.

Who is eligible?

In concrete terms, VIVES and BIL are looking for companies that want to participate in the project support group. Companies/mechanical engineers/constructors who make use of and companies interested in metal printing are eligible. It concerns for example a broad spectrum of companies from suppliers of machines to software and accessories (gas, wire, powders).

What does the commitment involve?

  • You help guide the research and determine the direction of the matters to be investigated;
  • You receive all project results;
  • As a member of the guidance group, you participate in various consultation moments (2x/year). The project runs over 2 years.

Are you interested or would you like more information? Please contact one of the following persons. They will be happy to help you.

Tom ScharlakenWim Verlinde
VIVES Smart TechnologiesBelgisch Instituut voor Lastechniek vzw