Directed Energy

Additive manufacturing solution provider BeAM joins forces with CGTech.


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For as long as there has been additive manufacturing, design freedom has been one of the biggest cornerstones of its use. Because parts are produced one paper-thin layer at a time, there’s little that can’t be manufactured. This is particularly true when additive equipment has five-axis motion, is able to deposit a range of metals to existing workpieces, build completely from scratch and generate high quality parts with minimal post processing that is more cost efficient than traditional forms of manufacturing.

BeAM’s powder-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology utilizes a high-powered laser and coaxial deposition nozzle to apply highly accurate, three-dimensional layers of aerospace grade materials like titanium, Inconel, stainless steels and more. BeAM’s DED can be used to repair parts like turbine blades and fuel nozzles, add features to existing geometries, and build near net shape with a one of the best surface finishes. Five-axis machines can generate part features less than one millimeter thick, with better than 100 microns accuracy. 

These five-axis capabilities allow BeAM Machine users to take design freedom in ever more complex directions. However, even with the ability to create previously unachievable shapes, the BeAM has found visualization of these shapes increasingly challenging. That’s why the TeAM at BeAM’s Cincinnati, Ohio solutions center turned to toolpath simulation provider CGTech Inc. for help with verifying the millions of lines of code needed to drive the 3D printers.

With the ability to simulate all aspects of the 3D-printing process, CGTech’s Vericut system can:

  • Eliminate machine downtime and scrapped workpieces by detecting collisions before they happen.
  • Validate machine operating parameters such as gas flow, laser wattage and proper material flow per material type.
  • Maintain the entire part build history for troubleshooting purposes, or for customer-mandated archiving.
  • Clearly identify programming errors as well as opportunities for improvement.
  • Provide realistic viewing of additive process, part build from it and machine tool motion throughout the process, long before the laser lights up or the powder begins to flow.

The software does all this by reading the same G-code data file that the machine uses. There are never translation errors and it doesn't matter where the code came from, whether it was generated by a CAM system, a custom application, text editor or composite from any of these means.