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Smoothing additive manufacture component

The Wallwork Group, a vacuum/plasma process specialist, is pioneering a new technology to remove the rough and irregular finish that is typical of additive manufactured (AM) metal components. The project is an international collaboration with the University of Manchester materials science department along with an AM processor in France and dental implant manufacturer in Italy.

Supported by European Commission funding under a Fast-Track to Innovation Pilot, the 29-month programme, starting with a proven process technology, will transfer into live deployment in manufacturing plants. The programme follows on from an earlier Innovate UK supported research project, SEAM, a feasibility study to prove the effectiveness of plasma smoothing metal components made by additive manufacturing processes.

The technical challenge is that AM components, created by sequential fusing of metal powder, have a rough and unattractive surface finish. As the AM process is...

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