Wayland Additive is set to release their NeuBeam metal 3D printer this coming January.
The UK-based company specified 27 January 2021 as the release date for “Calibur 3”, their first production metal 3D printer. The system will be the first commercial option to use their NeuBeam printing process.
NeuBeam Metal 3D Printing
If you’re not familiar with NeuBeam, it is a variant of EBM, or Electron Beam Melting. This is a process that solidifies fine metal powder in layers in a manner similar to laser PBF, but instead uses powerful electron beams that are more easily absorbed by metal material.
While there are several vendors using EBM processes, there are some issues with the technology. Evidently electric charge can build up during the printing process and can corrupt the print. Meanwhile, Wayland Additive has found a way to neutralize the charge during the print, thus avoiding the issue entirely. That’s why it’s called “NeuBeam”, get it?
Wayland Additive explains a bit more about how this works:
“The NeuBeam metal AM process eliminates many of the compromises that users of metal AM processes have to make both for part development and into full production. As such, NeuBeam overcomes the inherent instabilities of traditional eBeam processes and the internal residual stresses typically associated with laser powder bed fusion (PBF) processes to offer a truly stable and flexible process. In addition, NeuBeam exhibits unrivalled metallurgy capabilities and can process a much wider range of metal materials, including reflective and refractive metals.”
While we knew the company was working on this process, we didn’t know much about their commercial deployment intentions. Now we know a bit more.
Calibur 3 Release Date
The first NeuBeam device will be called the “Calibur 3”, as shown above. As you can see in their provided rendering, the machine is configured externally much like you’d expect for a production industrial device.
“Wayland Additive is delighted to announce that it will be commercially launching its first production system — Calibur 3 — on the 27th January 2021. The company expects to start shipping later the same year.”
Wayland Additive hasn’t yet released any information about machine specifications or certainly pricing, but from the rendering it may be they offer a substantial build volume. We’ll be looking for further information as time passes.
The prospect of NeuBeam technology is quite enticing, as it could offer a way around the limitations present in the most popular metal 3D printing processes used today:
- Laser PBF: Issues extreme heat that carries through the printed structure, necessitating highly complex thermal analyses and tedious structure removal after printing, and inability to print certain types of metals
- EBM: Coarse printing and less reliable results
- Deposition Approaches: Coarse prints requiring CNC machining during or after printing
In theory, NeuBeam has none of these limitations, and thus could prove very attractive to buyers.
Via Wayland Additive