Arcam Releases the Arcam Q10
Although additive manufacturing (AM) has been around for 20+ years, it’s fair to say that it’s just now beginning to make its mark. As the technology advances, some machines are becoming more specialized and targeted at specific types of industry, rather than just general use. While it’s true that even a specialized AM system is still going to have multiple uses, tweaking it just a little bit for specific purposes is a good business model.
With that we come to Arcam’s new electron beam melting system (EBM), the Arcam Q10. As is true for all EBM machines (ASTM directed energy deposition), the Q10 uses an electron beam to melt powdered metals. Commonly used metals include titanium and cobalt-chrome. This new design is meant to replace the A1 for orthopedic manufacturing.
Arcam’s newest system was designed to produce orthopedic implants, and so incorporates a layer verification camera system to monitor the 3000 W electron beam. The Q10 offers a 200 mm x 200 mm x 180 mm (7.87 in. x 7.87 in. x 7.08 in.) build envelope, and has a minimum beam diameter of 100μ.
According to Arcam’s website, “The size of the build area is chosen to allow for optimal stacking of the most common implant types and the build chamber interior is developed for easy powder handling and fast turn-around times.”
This system also shows that not all AM research and development is going into larger systems. While the 3D printers that can build entire aircraft wings might receive more news coverage, smaller systems like this one continue to work away in the background, quietly improving lives of people who rely on orthopedic implants.
Below you’ll find a short video about Arcam’s EBM system by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.