ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, recently revealed that it has been able to take advantage of metal 3D printing to rapidly manufacture ready-to-use spare parts for the steel industry. The 2017 collaboration with Additive Industries, a manufacturer of end-to-end metal 3D printing systems, has helped ArcelorMittal to print large and challenging components for its facilities.
Early in the collaboration Additive Industries installed one of its largest metal 3D printing systems – the MetalFAB1 in the R&D facilities of ArcelorMittal. Through the partnership it was found out that 3D printing of spare parts for the steel industry was viable as it offers on-demand, on-location production which reduces the need for stocks. Moreover, it also shortens the production cycle as well as affording flexibility to ArcelorMittal plants.
Since then several 3D-printed spare parts have already been used while others are still running in ArcelorMittal facilities.
MetalFAB1 – Metal 3D Printing System
The MetaFAB1 is four-laser metal 3d printing system by Additive Industries. It is also one of the largest metal 3D printers available in the market today. Its build volume is 420x420x400 mm thus enabling large steelmaking and mining spare parts to be easily manufactured. It provides an end-to-end printing solution by automating the manual steps involved in a conventional powder bed fusion (PBF) printer. This ensures minimal manual intervention, lesser chance to fail and deliver high productivity, resulting in the lowest cost per printed part.
Additionally, one of its strengths is that the machine recycles all material and generates hardly any production waste.
Speaking about the collaboration with ArcelorMittal, Harry Kleijnen, Key Account Manager Additive Industries said, “We are proud to work together with ArcelorMittal, jointly driving the business case for 3D-printed parts in the steel industry. ArcelorMittal’s typical applications have enabled us to further adapt the MetalFAB1 system to print high density, high volume parts. We are looking forward to expanding the range of applications and materials in this intense and strong collaboration”.
Daan A.J. Kersten, Co-founder and CEO Additive Industries added, “Innovation and market leader ArcelorMittal have helped us to stress-test our MetalFAB1 system for critical spare-part production. This enabled us to expand our experience to the steel industry from our main application markets in aerospace and automotive. It has become clear that metal 3D printing is a serious alternative for a large variety of cast parts”.
Jose López Fresno, Head of the Additive Manufacturing department, ArcelorMittal Global R&D in Avilés (Spain) concluded, “Additive Manufacturing is an exponential technology, moving very fast. Our collaboration with Additive Industries is a clear demonstration of our ability to remain at the cutting-edge of this technology: we started by printing small specimens and have now progressed to large size and complex parts.”
About ArcelorMittal: ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and primary steelmaking facilities in 18 countries.
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