New CSIRO 3D titanium manufacturing centre announced

A new titanium additive manufacturing facility has been announced by CSIRO, as part of its Future Manufacturing Flagship.

A new titanium additive manufacturing facility has been announced by CSIRO, as part of its Future Manufacturing Flagship.

The facility, which will host the southern hemisphere’s first Arcam Electron Beam Melting (EBM) facility, will be showcased at an open house event on December 5, at CSIRO largest site, in Clayton, Victoria.

Additive manufacturing has been around since the mid-1980s, and – unlike conventional, reductive manufacturing – involves component parts being built, rather than cut, into shape. The CSIRO has identified it as a great opportunity for high-technology Australian manufacturers, and titanium manufacturing in particular as an opportunity for high-value manufacture in Australia.

The Arcam facility uses an electron beam “to melt and fuse metal powders, layer by layer, into 3D parts.” This is done at high temperatures in a vacuum.

“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,” said Swee Mak, director of the CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship.

The CSIRO is currently engaging with the Australian companies Ferra Engineering (on its Joint Strike Fighter project for Boeing) and Future Titanium Technology (on its titanium pipe manufacturing).

"Companies that want to take on additive manufacturing face a number of practical challenges,” said John Barnes, titanium research leader at the Flagship.

“We've been providing technical advice to solve problems and helping businesses to access these technologies for nearly ten years now.”