University of Washington

Arcam Uses Electron Beam Melting (EBM) for 3D Printing Metal Implants

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Arcam Uses Electron Beam Melting (EBM) for 3D Printing Metal Implants

According to Arcam,” is a Swedish company founded in 1997.  Arcam provides cost-effective 3D printing solutions for metal parts.  The Arcam EBM (Electronic Beam Melting) builds metal parts from metal powder by melting the metal powder with a powerful electron beam.  The electron beam is precisely controlled using electromagnetic coils”.

Arcam uses EBM technology to manufacture patient-specific orthopedic implants.  Computer Tomography (CT) is used to build a CAD model of a patient-specific implant and EBM technology is used to 3D print the part from the CAD model.

Wikipedia Article on Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing


3D Printing Materials: Glass

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3D Printing Materials: Glass

According to the 3D printing material,” using glass is difficult because of the high temperatures required to melt the material used for 3D printing. Technologies for 3D printing using glass exist so far mainly in research labs and Universities.  Some of these efforts are described below.

In 2009, researchers at Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory of University of Washington developed a process called Vitraglyphic.  In this process, powdered glass is mixed with an adhesive material and loaded into a 3D printer.  A binder is deposited into the powdered mixture and used for 3D printing shapes.  These shapes were put in a kiln so that the layers of glass fuse and create a solid glass object.  The team used the similar procedure to 3D print ceramics objects.

In another effort, researchers led by Professor Neri Oxman of MIT’s Mediated Matter Group developed a 3D printer that extrudes molten glass.  The 3D printer maintains a nozzle through which the glass is extruded at temperatures of about 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit. This is significantly higher than the temperatures used for other 3D printing, for example, plastic.

An Israel based company Micron3DP has also announced that they have developed an extruder that can 3D print using molten glass at temperatures as high as 1640 degrees Celsius”.:).