Norsk Titanium Components is hoping that “direct metal deposition” technology will transform the way industrial parts get manufactured for aerospace companies around the world.In the past, when manufacturers made aerospace parts, more than 80 per cent of the metal used had to be whittled away by a machine. These days, though, Norsk Titanium Components, a Norway-based parts maker, is employing direct metal deposition to speed up the process and in turn lower the cost of manufacturing.
It works by taking a digital drawing of a complex titanium component and then employing a production robot to build the part one ultra-thin layer at a time until it gets close to its final shape. The last step occurs when there is “limited machining” to trim down the object to its desired shape, says Sven Røst, a spokesman for Norsk Titanium Components.
“[Our] process provides shorter lead times, less energy consumption and material waste as well as limited machining,” adds Mr Røst. “In addition, our process will provide enhanced design flexibility, as more complex shapes could eventually be produced.”