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Leading Sustainability in Subtractive & Additive Manufacturing

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Conference Abstract: A sustainable business, incorporating innovation and engineering in both additive manufacturing and subtractive technologies, with a focus on metal cutting & machining and metal powder based printing processes, will help to determine the future of manufacturing. A future enhanced by sustainable engineering solutions, including printed mould & die casting tools incorporating conformal cooling and optimised light-weighted components, that focus on performance, productivity and efficiency; all contributing to achieving net zero. Metal powder production will be powered by fossil-free energy, when applied to induction melting of metals, coupled with advance inert gas atomisation powder production. That target powder size ranges for all AM processes, including mid-size fractions for Powder Bed Fusion – Laser (PBF-L), coarse powder for Direct Energy Deposition (DED) & Powder Bed Fusion - Electron beam (PBF-E) and fine powder for sinter based AM processes, including binder jetting and green machining. Optimised powder characteristics for additive manufacturing processing, including morphology & flow characteristics.
Components will be designed for circularity, efficient use of raw materials, ideally made from recycled or responsibly sourced materials to minimize impacts on natural resources. The embedded energy and equivalent carbon footprint for metal powders are determined, with the replacement & substitution of elements with relatively high environmental impact, as well as high cost and potential health hazards, such as cobalt & nickel. Examples are presented, including the development of new cobalt free maraging steels, the development of an optimised Hot Work Tool (HWT) steel, which prints by PBF-L without cracking and nickel free stainless steels. The recycled content of metal powders are measured and recorded, using established international standards. The human factors of sustainability are of the highest priority, including safety, enabling diversity, equity and inclusion, protecting human rights in our value chain, protecting sensitive ecosystems and creating a resilient community.