6K Additive and Freemelt Establish Strategic Partnership
Aim of collaboration is to develop and commercialize refractory metal powder for the Freemelt 3D printer platform.
Digital Thread News
Digital Thread Resources
November 16, 2021
6K Additive, a division of 6K, a company that produces sustainable advanced materials for additive manufacturing, and Freemelt, a high-tech growth company whose open-source 3D printing platform creates new conditions for rapid growth in 3D printing, jointly announced a strategic partnership to develop and bring to market new materials for their Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (E-PBF) printer platform that enables advanced additive manufacturing applications.
Applications for hypersonics, as an example, require performance refractory materials such as tungsten to withstand extreme temperatures, forces due to speed, shifting directions and altitude dynamics. 6K Additive has the production expertise and scale to produce refractory performance powders and the Freemelt additive manufacturing printers provide a printing platform to deliver on stringent requirements for these materials.
“Since the commercial launch of refractory metal powder we’ve seen a ton of interest in refractories specifically tungsten,” says Frank Roberts, president of 6K Additive. “Freemelt is an organization that prides itself on working with the market for parameter development on their platform to help customers push the capabilities of 3D printing for applications that require high-performance parts and materials like tungsten.”
“The market is consistently asking us for performance materials and partnering with 6K Additive gives us and our customers a material supplier that not only delivers high-quality metal powder but is quickly commercializing the sought-after performance materials like tungsten and other refractory metals,” says Dr. Ulric Ljungblad, CEO of Freemelt. “The new partnership helps us and them push the limits of what’s possible with 3D printing.”
In 2020 6K Additive completed the construction of a 45,000-sq.-ft. powder production facility in Burgettstown, PA. The facility has two UniMelt microwave plasma systems commissioned with two additional systems scheduled to be completed by year end. The company will also begin construction to expand the powder manufacturing building to add space for six additional systems. Installation of the additional systems will begin in Q1 of 2022.
Freemelt continues to advance the Freemelt One platform and has recently announced global expansion plans. Freemelt is at the Formnext show in Frankfurt, Germany Hall 12.0 in booth 138. 6K Additive’s tungsten powder and Freemelt printed parts as well as a Freemelt ONE system will be on display during the show in the Freemelt stand.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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