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In additive manufacturing, printing is just one of seven steps you need to master. We have wrestled with the remaining six for decades.

Being metallurgists has resulted in a world-leading offering of powder for AM. Not to mention our post-processing skills. Our expertise in machining, for example, is essential since additive manufacturing rarely turns out anything that is more than half-baked. Even when designing for AM, we have the knowledge to determine how thinly a component can be printed and still hold up.

We take you through a three-phase process – Plan it, Print it, Perfect it – to ensure that you get the most out of additive manufacturing. Read more about the process below and find out how we add unique knowledge to each step.

Plan it

  • 1. Selecting what to print

    We help identify which components are both suitable and profitable to print. Since we are also the leading experts on subtractive manufacturing, such as metal cutting, we are equally expert at telling you when not to use additive manufacturing.

    Is your component suitable for additive manufacturing? Here is our checklist for additive manufacuring. If a component meets any of the criteria below it is likely to be a good candidate for printing.

    • Complex shape
    • Expensive material
    • Low weight is essential
    • Revolutionary design
    • Individual variations (tailored)
    • Spare-part (to reduce lead-times, inventories and Net Working Capital)
    • Potential to merge sub-parts into one component
    • A need to reduce assembly time/increase productivity
    • Smaller series
  • 2. Material selection

    In what environment does your component exist? Based on 160 years' material knowledge and in-house powder manufacturing capabilities, we are expert at matching material to application. We offer the widest range of AM alloys around and even customize materials.

    For more than 15 years, we have been developing and selling world-leading gas-atomized AM-powder under the Osprey® brand. Before any production, each batch of new powder is analyzed in our fully accredited metallurgical and powder laboratories. This is critical for success. Particle size and shape, chemical composition, and the porosity of the powder are all factors of an optimal outcome.


    We have experience from printing in a wide range of materials such as:

    • Tool steels, including maraging steels
    • Stainless and duplex steels
    • High temperature materials
    • Nickel-based alloys
    • Titanium alloys
    • High entropy alloys
    • High speed steels
    • Cemented carbides

    Read more about our powder offering to additive manufacturing.

  • 3. Design and modeling

    Additive manufacturing forces us to rethink everything. We have worked in close collaboration with industries like automotive, medical, aerospace and power generation for decades – to understand their material challenges and learn about their applications. 

    When designing for additive it takes metallurgical knowledge to know, for example, how thinly a component can be printed and still hold up. We also have deep applications design and engineering know-how from 75 years in the metalworking industry. This is highly useful for the design of AM components, since we know what we are putting into question. Apart from benefitting your business, lighter and more durable components benefits the environment, reducing the need for transportation.

    Get in touch with our AM designers to see what they can do for you.

  • 4. Choice of optimal additive process

    Being independent is important to us. With all major printing technologies for metals in-house, it means that you can always trust that we choose the optimal process for your component.

    It is about defining the most optimal printer parameter setting and processing combinations matched to a specific material and AM-application. Our know-how is based on extensive R&D efforts, where we have been mapping different printing technologies with different materials and post-processing methods– gathering an extensive pool of knowledge.

Print it

5. Print it

From rapid prototyping to serial production, we are at your service. All additive manufacturing processes feature layer-by-layer fabrication of three-dimensional objects, but production techniques vary depending on material or component. We develop the right printing parameters so that your product gets the optimum properties.

Printing systems can be classified either by their energy source or the way the material is being joined, for example using laser or a binder. Below you find a brief description of the processes that we use. We always develop the right printing parameters so that your product gets the optimum properties.

Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF)

Ideal for design of complex geometries, Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) methods use either a laser or electron beam to melt and fuse powder together. The melting process is repeated, layer by layer, until the last layer is melted and the parts are complete. Then they are removed from the build plate and post processed according to requirements. Powder Bed Fusion is suitable for a variety of materials and applications. Parts typically possess high strength, with a large range of post-processing methods available.

Binder Jetting

The Binder Jetting process uses two materials: a powder based material and a binder. The binder acts as an adhesive between powder layers. The binder is usually in liquid form and the build material in powder form. A print head moves horizontally and deposits alternating layers of the build material and the binding material. After each layer, the object being printed is lowered on its build platform. The resulting object is in a green state, so post-processing is required. The green body is cured in a furnace to remove the solvent from the binder and finally debound and sintered to near full density in a sintering furnace.

Perfect it

  • 6. Post processing

    In order to achieve required properties, it is almost always necessary to post-process components produced with additive manufacturing. We have more than 75 years of leading expertise in post-processing methods such as machining, sintering or hot isostatic pressing.
     

    To achieve the right properties such as surface quality, geometrical accuracy and mechanical properties, nearly all additively manufactured components need post processing. This can include heat treatment, separating the components from support structure and build plate, surface-finishing procedures, as well as testing and certification. Heat treatment is needed to relieve stress on components before their removal from the build plate. Surface treatment can include machining, blasting and polishing.

    Internal surfaces, such as internal cooling channels, can be polished using abrasive flow machining. We have leading expertise in post-processing methods, such as metal cutting, sintering, heat treatment, as well as hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Our advanced post processing portfolio ensures that all AM components reach their full potential and that they match your specific requirements.

  • 7. Testing and quality assurance

    Traceability, testing and documentation. Building on Sandvik’s long experience in quality assurance, we have made it our mission to build a solid quality assurance system within additive manufacturing as well.

    By using the optimum starting material, advanced AM technologies, the required post-processing methods, and rigorous quality control, we safeguard product and material properties.

    Sandvik's quality assurance practices were established many decades ago to satisfy the most demanding customers within critical industries such as nuclear, medical, aerospace, automotive, chemical, and oil and gas. To support this, Sandvik has northern Europe’s largest R&D Center for advanced stainless steels, powder-based alloys and special alloys, with the most sophisticated testing facilities and equipment. Our capabilities include, for example, an accredited (ISO 17025) chemical analysis laboratory and ISO 9001 certified laboratories for microstructure examination and mechanical and corrosion testing. We have also a GOM 3D-scanner and a CT scanner in house, as well as computational modeling.

Case stories

Browse our case stories to learn more about the advantages of Additive Manufacturing (AM).

Case stories

Contact us

Get in touch with our experts to discuss how we can help you Plan it, Print it and Perfect it.

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