UPCOMING: 2024 Practicum on Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Materials


M-Lab 1

Binder Jetting System
This unique system provides CIMP-3D the capability of manufacturing ceramic materials in addition to metals.

A layer-by-layer process disperses liquid binder selectively on a bed of powder producing a “green” part. These parts require post-process furnace curing. This system has a build volume of 2 x 1.5 x 2 inches.


Cold Spray System
SPEE3D metal AM is a high-speed additive manufacturing process that is built on the cold spray process. In this process, metal powders are accelerated using supersonic gas jets and deposited onto the work piece.

The high velocities results in high plastic deformation and strong adhesion of the powder particles to the substrate.

Using cold spray technologies, the SPEE3D metal AM system is able to build parts within minutes, instead of hours, making this system one of the fastest and most economical systems available within the additive manufacturing field. In addition, the robust process can be used directly in the field and within harsh environments making this technology an ideal solution for quickly building parts and components at the point of need.


Penn State ARL
Directed Energy Deposition System
Utilizing 3rd-generation AeroMet high-deposition capabilities, our first in-house built DED system is capable of larger build volumes. This High-Power High-Deposition (HPHD) system utilizes a laser with power levels up to 12 kW in a customizable build volume.

Rectilinear builds can reach 100cm x 30cm x 45 cm and cylindrical builds can reach 60cm in diameter and 30 cm high. A custom cladding head with water-cooled optics and an inert gas enclosure make this a truly powerful system.


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.