Sciaky Inc. has made its electron-beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) systems available for purchase, with availability as early as September 1, according to a statement. It’s an important development in the commercialization of additive manufacturing, in particular for large-scale components and parts in high-value materials.

No details of the cost or specifications for the EBAM system were released.

The EBAM process uses CAD designs to define a program of powder-metal layering and electron-beam sintering to produce finished parts in three dimensions. “Sciaky's fully-articulated, moving electron-beam welding gun deposits metal (via wire feedstock), layer by layer, until the part reaches near-net shape,” according to the release.

The finished parts are described as “near-net shape” and may finish machining.

The deposition rates for Sciaky's EBAM process range from 7 to 20 lb/hr, according to the geometry of the part and the material.

The build envelope can be as large as 19x4x4 ft. (L x W x H), which means manufacturers can form large parts and structures, possibly with greater accuracy, speed, or material savings than a comparable machining operation.

As significant, the EBAM process was developed to process high-value metals, including titanium, tantalum, stainless steel, and Inconel. Since Sciaky introduced the service two years ago, it has been used in research projects involving the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, DARPA, and Boeing, according to the developer.

The combination of accuracy, material selection, and speed of production offers manufacturers an opportunity to reduce production cost, material costs, and lead times versus standard manufacturing methods, e.g., casting, forging, or machining.

"Manufacturers, for the first time, will be able to utilize Sciaky's revolutionary additive manufacturing technology to produce production parts and prototypes in their own facility," said Mike Riesen, general manager of Sciaky, Inc. "The possibilities are endless."