3D Metalforge and SIMTech to Develop Large Format LAAM Technology in Singapore
3D Metalforge has signed a collaboration agreement with SIMTech to develop commercially Singapore’s first large format Laser Aided Additive Manufacturing (LAAM) technology for 3D printing in industrial applications. Announced at the launch of Singapore’s first end-to-end 3D Metal Additive Manufacturing Centre (AMC), this collaboration is supported and co-funded by NAMIC.
The LAAM technology currently has one of the largest print beds available for metal printing, up to 3-4 times larger than the largest powder bed printers currently available on the market. It will also come with a super-fast deposition rate of up to 1 kg per hour, which is almost 10 times faster than existing powder bed printers. LAAM utilises a high-energy laser beam and advanced powder blowing technology to deposit and sinter metal powder into large mid complex parts.
“The LAAM technology will be a gamechanger for the industry. This means that we will be able to produce high quality, large format, cost effective metal parts with first class mechanical properties that not only meets, but exceeds the quality standards for traditionally manufactured parts at our AMC,” said Mr Matthew Waterhouse, Chief Executive Officer of 3D Metalforge. “This will allow key industries such as aerospace, precision engineering, oil and gas, marine and offshore, and automotive to capitalise on the benefits of additive manufacturing.”
SIMTech has developed the background intellectual property (IP) of the LAAM technology whilst the new equipment will be housed in 3D Metalforge’s state-of-the-art AMC. Additionally, a SIMTech researcher will be seconded to the project team to facilitate the smooth implementation of the technology.
The collaboration agreement was signed at the launch of Singapore’s first end-to-end 3D Metal Additive Manufacturing Centre (AMC) by 3D Metalforge, a homegrown company specialising in metal printing, with Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry, as the Guest of honour. The AMC will provide a complete suite of in-house metal printing services ranging from design and engineering, to printing, post-production and finishing.
“Singapore’s strategic location, pro-business environment, high-technology infrastructure and its intense focus on the additive manufacturing sector to support our economic transformation to Industry 4.0 makes it a logical choice for us to set up our AMC here,” said Matthew Waterhouse. “The launch underscores 3D Metalforge’s commitment as a homegrown company to deliver 3D metal printing solutions to our customers.”
Enabling innovative disruptions to Key Industries
The AMC will deliver 3D metal printing solutions to Singapore’s key growth sectors, including the oil and gas, marine, precision engineering and construction industries. Staffed with a predominantly local team of designers and engineers, the AMC will have a range of printers from highly-detailed to large scale, cost effective printers to help customers capture the benefits of 3D printing. Some key advantages include the ability to re-design parts to reduce material usage whilst improving performance, reducing the costs of producing customised parts and extending the lifespan of equipment by printing obsolete parts.
Additionally, the AMC supports small batch productions, which translates to immediate cost savings on production, shipping and warehousing for customers. This is a major advantage as more companies are moving towards the ‘high-mix, low volume’ production model in this region.