UPCOMING: 2024 Practicum on Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Materials

Manufacturing Systems


Directed Energy Deposition System
Multiple powder-feed capabilities for deposition and full consolidation of complex components within a controlled inert gas environment.

This system provides a working envelope of 30 cm length by 30 cm width by 15 cm height. The Optomec system is capable of near-net fabrication of components and requires final machining. Although the system is capable of producing parts having complex geometries, it cannot produce geometries having significant projection or overhang without support.

Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing

ABB Inc.
Directed Energy Deposition System
A new wire arc additive manufacturing system (WAAM) from ABB Inc. was also recently installed at the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State. WAAM may not be well known within the additive manufacturing industry, but it holds one of the biggest potentials for large-scale 3D printing where components are measured not by centimeters but by meters. WAAM builds components by melting a wire forming weld beads onto a substrate using an electric arc heat source. A robotic arm controls the process and, much like most AM processes, the WAAM process builds components layer by layer until the component is completed. Unlike more traditional AM processes, such as powder bed fusion processes, there is no limit to the build envelope, allowing for the production of very large components.

This system will further complement the laser based large-scale robotic AM system already located within The Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State. Both systems have their own unique benefits for tackling large scale AM: a laser heat source allows for better melt pool control and opens the ability to use both wire and powder feedstocks while an electric arc heat source offers fast and consistent metal deposition.

Large-Scale Robotic AM System

Penn State ARL
Directed Energy Deposition System
Custom-configured and designed, this DED system features the most advanced, state-of-the-art capabilities for high-deposition rate additive manufacturing. A six degree-of-freedom articulated robot and two-axis rotary positioner synchronously locate the processing head and workpiece for deposition. The system can accommodate large structures fitting within a 2m x 3m x 3.5m envelope and can also produce a wide variety of complex geometries given the robotic configuration’s positioning flexibility.

Up to 12 kW of laser power is directed through a water-cooled two-axis beam scanning process head for programmable energy distribution. Wire or powder feedstock can be used for fabrication with deposition rates in excess of 10 kg/hr. The integrated wire-based system includes hot-wire capabilities for wire pre-heating. By combining the most advanced processing capabilities into one integrated platform, this system represents the next generation of large, rapid additive manufacturing.


Hybrid System
CIMP-3D hosts one of the first DMG MORI hybrid manufacturing systems in the United States. This innovative system utilizes an automatic tool changer to selectively switch between a 2.5kW laser Directed Energy Deposition (DED) head for high-volume material buildup and milling tools for precision CNC machining. Built-in adaptive process control and process monitoring capabilities allow monitoring of the melt pool size and closed-loop control of laser power during deposition.

The unique hybrid approach enables: the production of parts and repair of existing components to their final dimensional state in a single manufacturing process; the creation of unique features that would be inaccessible through traditional manufacturing processes; and more economical manufacturing of large workpieces that normally require significant stock removal. This system has deposition and machining envelope of approximately 25.6 inches in diameter and 16 inches in height with a maximum weight limit of 600 kg.


EOS Corporation
Powder Bed Fusion
A high definition additive manufacturing system based on a scanning laser with powder bed technology that is capable of full consolidation of metallic powder and high feature quality. The work envelope is 28 cm in length, 28 cm in width, and 28 cm in height.

The advantages of the powder bed system is the ability to achieve net or very near-net shape surface quality, and since the powder bed may provide support of projections, this system is capable of complex geometries having full three dimensionality.

ProX 200

3D Systems
Powder Bed Fusion
Capable of high-quality surface finish with layer sizes as small as 5 microns. This machine utilizes a compacting roller recoater process and can produce fully dense metal parts. Open software control allows the users to fully define all key manufacturing parameters and track production data.

With a build envelope of 14 cm in length, 14 cm in width, and 10 cm in height, the ProX 200 is more suited for medium size builds.

ProX 320

3D Systems
275 mm x 275 mm x 420 mm
Powder Bed Fusion
One of our newest systems on site provides production-grade manufacturing with cutting-edge control in processing conditions. This ‘next generation’ powder bed fusion system utilizes a build volume of 27.5 cm in length, 27.5 cm in width, and 42 cm in height. The ProX 320 utilizes interchangeable build modules to reduce pre- and post-production time.

The ProX 320 has vastly expanded CIMP-3D’s powder bed fusion capacity.

DMP Factory 500

3D Systems
Powder Bed Fusion
This system boasts a build envelop of 50 x 50 x 50 cm operating in the lowest possible oxygen content. The system has a fully sealed powder management system for depowdering and to maintain continuous environment from building to part storage to powder recycling.

This system comes with an integrating DMP Monitoring suite, and is being retrofitted with advanced process monitoring sensors develop by ARL Penn State for other equipment.

Pulsed Laser Processing System

ARL-Integrated Equipment
IPG Photonics 1 kW, ns-pulsed fiber laser
SCANNER: Scanlab intelliWELD 3D scanner
ROBOT: ABB 6-axis robotic arm
ARL’s Pulsed Laser Processing System was developed to optimize coatings removal processes in ship construction. It’s custom controller can execute multi-parameter ablation sequences within a single manufacturing pass to, e.g., ablate tough coatings with relatively intense parameters, which are then (and ~simultaneously) overlaid with other parameters to effect the surface quality.

The same Pulsed Laser Processing System, outfitted with a custom micro-wire feeder, is being used for additive processing (welding) with aluminum.