Intech Additive Solutions and Bhabha Atomic Research collaborate

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Intech Additive Solutions, a leading end-to-end solution provider in metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems, AM and AM software design, collaborated with Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) to design and print successfully in 3D miniature metal components.

Miniature metal components play a vital role in several critical miniature robotics (bio-robotics) applications, especially in the field of customized electroporation devices such as drug delivery, food pre-treatment, cosmetic therapy of the skin, etc.

Given their size and complexity, the manufacturing, production management and timely delivery of these components by conventional methods is a never-ending challenge. Therefore, metal 3D printing technology is an ideal ally in such scenarios for the production of miniature, complex and semi-sculptural components due to its economically feasible design and solutions.

The iFusion LF series of printers from Intech Additive, which offers the ability to produce small to large metal parts for a variety of industrial applications, is one such solution that makes this possible.

The iFusion LF series of metal printers are designed to achieve high build speeds, optimized cost-per-part (CPP) management, and cost-effective manufacturing. Automated dust management, part disposal and dust sifting are some of its comprehensive features specially designed to meet the higher productivity and mass production needs prevalent in the industry. The iFusion LF1 is a large format LPBF metal 3D printer from the iFusion line of the Intech Additive portfolio with one of the largest build volumes in the class – at 450mm x 450mm x 450mm.

Equipped with Intech’s proprietary AMOptoMet and AMBuilder software, it was possible to get a “first time” scenario when printing the miniature components.

AMOptoMet is the first of its kind and one of the only new software in the world for the development of alloy parameters. It is an optimization package set up to calculate and optimize the processing parameters of a given alloy for the Laser Powder Bed Fusion technology. AMBuilder is build processing software with an intuitive workflow and many smart features. AMBuilder’s optimal part orientation, support generation, and path generation helped prepare for building the miniature component.

BARC provided the initial designs of the miniature components for possible adaptation to the AM process. Intech’s DfAM expert team proposed and implemented other design changes for optimal component performance.

Bhabha Atomic Research and Intech Additive Solutions collaborate.  Successfully design and 3D print miniature metal components.
Miniature metal parts 3D printed in SS 316L alloy

“In my opinion, Intech engineers have good technical genius, practicality and leadership. I’ve noticed that the engineers are really following the “basic thinking” which is very important for any off-the-shelf local solution for a new technology. I am proud to say that within 6 months, Intech engineers have achieved the pinnacle of authentic product-focused manufacturing with the required perseverance and passion,” said Dr. Debanik Roy, Scientist in remote control and robotics at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center. .

The 3D printed metal monolithic miniature component has an overall length of 33mm with a cylindrical body (OD: 11.6mm; ID: 10mm) and a tapered front face. The crucial part of the manufacturing process was the printing of a small part, the “retaining ring”, 1.5 mm thick, and a central hole with a diameter of 0.9 mm. The main production of this whole set is the printing of the fixing ring. Ensuring the operability of the printed retaining ring is critical to component actuation.

This component had to be assembled with another part, the ‘end cover’ – 6.5 mm high. The completed component assembly is now fully functional and can be used for various applications.

Dimensions include length of 33mm, barrel OD 11.6mm, barrel inside diameter of 10mm, and mounting ring thickness of 1.5mm. Parts were printed with SS 316L stainless steel, 40 micron layer thickness and 3 hour build time.

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