CSIRO Leads Additive Manufacturing Charge With New Titanium Facility

CSIRO has this week announced the opening of a new titanium additive manufacturing facility that will focus on developing advanced titanium parts for aerospace, medical, automotive and manufacturing applications.

Part of a hip prosthesis made using the Arcam process, in front of a screen showing the computer-aided design for the implant.

The new facility houses the first Arcam additive manufacturing machine in the southern hemisphere. Using electron beam melting to fuse metal powders into complex shapes layer by layer, the system creates three-dimensional parts from metals including titanium alloys, nickel and hard steel alloys, CSIRO revealed.

A leader in pioneering manufacturing technologies and procedures, the new facility is part of CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship, and builds on CSIRO’s expertise in titanium manufacturing, which includes electron beam melting, coldspray and thermally assisted machining.

“Additive manufacturing is an emerging technology capable of changing the future of manufacturing in Australia and we are keen to facilitate the adoption of new technologies which will benefit Australian businesses,” Director of CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship Swee Mak said.


“We have invested in a suite of technologies and research, which combined with our links with RMIT and Monash University, provide industry a unique opportunity to explore and engage in forward-thinking design and production techniques.”

With the expertise in core supporting technologies, including materials science, polymer science and metal fabrication, CSIRO has identified additive manufacturing as a vital opportunity for the manufacturing sector in Australia.

Industrial commercial additive manufacturing activities CSIRO is engaged in include the development of titanium pipe with Future Titanium Technologies and the production of aerospace hardware through the Joint Strike Fighter program with Ferra Engineering.

“Additive manufacturing has been used for rapid manufacture of prototypes where its speed of production is advantageous. It can also be used for manufacture of complex, high-value components for industrial applications, and is especially useful for short production runs,” titanium research leader in the Future Manufacturing Flagship John Barnes said.

“Companies that want to take on additive manufacturing face a number of practical challenges. We’ve been providing technical advice to solve problems and helping businesses to access these technologies for nearly ten years now.”

The titanium research facility will be showcased to industry at an ‘open house’ event on December 5 at CSIRO’s Clayton site.

Published on Sep 26, 2012 by 

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