End to end process capability

End to end process capability

The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing offers expertise across the entire range of additive manufacturing processes, from initial designs right through to final delivery. 

Our experience across many industry sectors allows us to understand the challenges and pressures faced by manufacturers. 

The solutions we're delivering will speed up the implementation of this transformative technology, as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The approach we take can be seen below:

Key elements of the additive manufacturing process

We use our expertise to work hand-in-hand with you, developing manufacturing system solutions to solve your challenges for the short and longer term.
The processes listed below cover many of the major elements of additive manufacturing that need to be considered to ensure an effective solution for your business. We can assist in all of these. 
Each section shows the expertise we can provide:

The MTC can benchmark a full suite of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfAM) packages, then redesign and manufacture components to showcase what can be achieved. Skills and knowledge can then be embedded into component designers.
The MTC has developed a world-class powder characterisation facility for testing of batch/supplier variations to allow independent assessment of supply chain options. Testing includes chemistry, bulk and particulate properties in controlled environments, with the results linked to the performance of the powders in process, so that the true impact of the variability can be quantified.
We can develop material processing parameters for electron beam and laser melting platforms to maximise material properties and build speed, while minimising residual stress and defects. Demonstrator components can be produced on platforms including: Arcam A2XX and Q20, Renishaw AM250, EOS M280 and hybrid blown powder systems.
Powder Recovery: The MTC can design, implement and validate novel powder handling systems to maximise the usable life of powder. We also offer advice on health and safety considerations for handling fine powders, and how facilities can be designed to minimise risk.
Transformation of a built part to a finished component can be a labour and cost intensive process. We benchmark existing thermal and mechanical post-processing steps and equipment, and work with strategic partners to develop automated cost-effective solutions for all component types.
The MTC has a comprehensive range of equipment, including ultra-high accuracy Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), optical scanning, X-ray and ultrasonic testing, which are used for production process development and validation.
AM process capability cannot be adequately assessed by the production of a demonstrator component. Instead, we can use our range of equipment to validate the technical and commercial feasibility of producing components at pre-production volumes. Simulation tools can then be used to perform risk analysis around ‘what if’ scenarios within a facility. This can create optimal layouts of a facility for specific customer requirements.
Informatics: At the MTC, we can advise how to establish streamlined and secured processes for data transfer through the supply chain, and how to capture and analyse data. This allows informed decisions to be made on process characterisation, process configuration guidelines, and equipment health monitoring. Additionally, there is a long-term ambition to develop autonomous decision-making factories for AM component manufacture.

Fully digital process

We can also offer a simulation service, allowing you to create a digital twin of your additive manufacturing processes. This will de-risk the implementation of AM in to your factory and provide you with confidence that the full process will operate as you expect.