Thursday, September 22, 2011

A New Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) opened in UK

The University of Exeter opened its Center for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM), which features machines that can work with several materials to allow for a huge range of possibilities in potential products. The first facility of its kind in the UK, the Center offers the EOSINT P800 laser sintering system from EOS, which can build parts at temperatures up to 385°C and enables production using high-performance polymers, such as PEEK.

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company N.V. (EADS) supports CALM, which is in part financed by the EU and the European Regional Development Fund under the competitiveness operating program (£1.5 million).

The partnership enables the University of Exeter to provide additive manufacturing facilities for the southwest of the UK, further helping to raise awareness for a technology that is currently shifting paradigms in design and manufacturing, says Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS. The company also looks forward to expanding the use of the PEEK material, which is being processed on the P800, in the aerospace, medical and motorsports arena.

High performance materials, including PEEK, are mechanically strong and wear-resistant in the toughest of operating environments. Parts made of PEEK are being developed as an alternative to metals for applications including aerospace parts and medical instruments. As a result, the manufacturing process for prototypes and products is being simplified.

Businesses that are producing prototypes and developing products can now benefit from this pioneering £2.6 million facility at the University of Exeter. The facility will enable businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to harness the potential of additive manufacturing. The centre is offering heavily subsidised rates to SMEs in Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Cornwall, giving smaller businesses access to world-class facilities at affordable prices.

With this EOS manufacturing technology, complex or bespoke parts and complete products can be created by building them up one layer at a time via laser sintering, thus significantly reducing the time it takes to get a product from the design stage into market. Businesses will also benefit from the technical expertise of CALM staff, gained through their experience in industry.

Originally Posted: About Additive