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Reliable AM offering higher productivity and performance

May 2016 - Aug 2018


The objective of this project was to develop a completely new generation of Electron Beam Melting (EBM) AM machines which addressed the critical challenges identified for current generation machines, namely:

  • Powder charging causing poor process reliability
  • Poor control of the beam
  • Powder dispensing and handling
  • In-process control is poor
  • The CAM interface to current machines isn’t well suited to the E-Beam process

The intention was that the EBM machine should be suitable for the production of “flying” production parts


The new Scanning Electron AM (SEAM) system being developed in the RAMP-UP project represents a significant step change in technology and performance, employing key innovations which systematically and comprehensively address the limitations of the current EBM technology to give a process which is faster, easier to use, more reliable and able to produce higher quality parts. Key innovations included: Precise powder deposition; Active charge neutralisation; In-process inspection of layer and melt quality.

MTC role in project

MTCs activity within the project was to develop a next generation powder deposition mechanism for an EBM machine which:

  • Provides repeatable and predictable powder coverage over the entire build platform
  • Can control the properties of the as-spread layer – i.e. level of compaction, powder surface topology
  • Is equally suitable for both fine and coarse powder grades
  • Is easy to use and suitable for both production and prototyping environments
  • Does not infringe on existing patents in the prior art

Other details

  • Project partners: Reliance, MTC, University of Huddersfield, Delcam
  • Funding body: IUK
  • Project budget: £1.5M
  • Grant to MTC: £324k