How Does Electron Beam Melting Work?
- A layer of powdered metal is used to coat the "build plate".
- The layer is preheated during which time, the electron beam melts selected areas as determined by the design created in the CAD program.
- A new layer of powdered metal is added and the beam melts it, causing it to fuse to the previous layer.
- The process continues until the part is completed. Once an excess metal has been removed, the part can move on to post-processing.
- The electron beam is far more powerful than the lasers used in DMLS machines, and multiple beams are used at the same time. This means faster printing and increased productivity.
- The parts produced using electron beam melting are far superior to those made using more traditional parts manufacturing processes such as investing casting.
- Parts produced using this method have strong mechanical properties and up to 99 percent density. Because the bed is preheated, there is a marked reduction in residual stress and the need for support structures.
- All unused powder can be captured, recycled, and used for future projects resulting in less waste and reduced overhead costs.