"This opens up a lot of doors for us and widens our overall capabilities offerings."
US hybrid manufacturing firm Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing (KAM) has entered into a partnership with 3D printing materials company Elementum 3D to develop new material capabilities for metal additive manufacturing.
Elementum 3D will supply KAM with powders such as A6061-RAM2, a 3D printable aluminium said to possess properties comparable to wrought 6061-T6, for use in its SLM 280 printer. KAM is believed to be the first supplier in North America to use this material and machine combination and is said to enable faster print speeds.
“Elementum 3D’s commitment to the development of advanced materials aligns well with KAM’s innovative growth plan based around hybrid manufacturing,” said Jacob Nuechterlein, Elementum 3D president and founder. “We are proud to partner with their team and evolve our technologies together. There’s increasing demand within our customer base for [aluminiums] like the 6061. It’s taking off and this material is at the forefront of the trend.”
Elementum 3D’s reactive additive manufacturing (RAM) technology is said to prohibit cracking that usually occurs during solidification, while achieving or exceeding the same properties of the traditional alloys.
“This opens up a lot of doors for us and widens our overall capabilities offerings,” said Kevin Cwiok, lead AM engineer for KAM. “To offer a replacement for traditional aluminium alloys that are not only faster, but are also more durable with better surface finish, I think we’ll have a lot of customers who will be really excited about that.”
With aluminium 6061, KAM aims to go after the aerospace and automotive markets, which currently use AlSi10Mg as a standard material. The collaboration will also see the development of additional AM projects and testing of new materials.
Brad Keselowski, founder and CEO of KAM added: “Their materials enable KAM to engineer and manufacture metal 3D printed parts that are faster and higher in quality than anything that is currently out in the marketplace. I think we’re going to continue to do a lot of innovative work together that’ll lead to positive developments within the additive community. It’s a really exciting time for both companies.”