One of the biggest issues in 3D printing is high end control, particularly when it comes to the industrial applications of the innovation. Manufacturers are accustomed to closed-loop control, with in-system systems in place for ensuring that every object generated meets the specifications of their creations. With metal 3D printing having such wide appeal in the aerospace industry, metal 3D printing device manufacturers, like EOS and Additive Industries, are working to implement new methods of high end control into their systems. Now, Sciaky, Inc., a Phillips Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) subsidiary and the manufacturers of the biggest metal 3D printing devices on the market, has brought closed-loop control to its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing™ (EBAM) machines.

Lockheed Martin EBAM 3D printing device Sciaky of AM MagazineDubbed IRISS, that stands for Interlayer Real-time Imaging & Sensing System, the patented closed loop control innovation monitors, in real time, the printing system for part geometry, mechanical properties, microstructure, and metal chemistry. Based on this live feedback, IRISS and so adonlys Sciaky’s metal deposition systems to fall inside turn it into parameters, compensating for variation throughout a turn it into. Mike Riesen, general manager of Sciaky, Inc, comments in a press release, “Sciaky’s IRISS closed-loop control is in a class by itself. It is a big reason why EBAM is the many high end metal additive manufacturing systemes in the market for large-scale parts.”

Lockheed Martin has been one Sciaky’s original partners since it began work on its EBAM innovation and, in a February 8, 2016 article for Additive Manufacturing Magazine, Slade Gardner, Ph.D. and LM Fellow at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, was quoted as saying this of EBAM’s IRISS system, “We understand additional of the creation of every additive part than we can reasonably understand of parts created other ways. In the next, the data may be marshaled to streamline the system to a degree that goes well beyond only replacing one metalworking operation with another.”


Sciaky’s EBAM systems are understandn for their scalability and speed, with machines capable of manufacturing parts ranging of 8 inches (203 mm) to 19 feet (5.79 meters) in length at speeds of 7 to 20 lbs. (3.18 to 9.07 kg) of metal per hour. Choosing wire feedstock, EBAM in addition has the ability to 3D print with a wide variety of metals, such as titanium, tantalum, niobium, tungsten, molybdenum, Inconel, aluminum, stainless steels, nickel alloys, and additional. A dual wirefeed version actually allows for for the ability to turn it into custom alloys by combining two various metal alloys into a single melt pool or as a gradient mixture, in that one metal type shifts to another. And for the reason IRISS is exclusive to Sciaky’s EBAM machines, the PSI subsidiary is one of the few with such closed-loop control in the metal 3D printing world.

All of this together quite does manufacture the company stand out of the rest. Sciaky’s huge printed parts usually need a great deal of post systeming and EBAM may not have the same advantages when it comes to difficult geometries that powderbed systems contribute, but this is created up for in terms of dimensions, speed, and flexibility, manufacturing it an significant innovation for industries like aerospace, where large-scale, 3D printed parts may play a role in the next of aircraft production. Closed-loop control, and so, is the icing on the cake.

Michael Molitch-Hou

About The Author

Michael is Editor-In Chief of 3D Printing Industry and the founder of The Reality™ Institute, a service institute dedicated to determining what’s real and what’s not so that you don’t have to. He is a graduate of the MFA Critical Studies & Writing Program at CalArts, and a firm advocate of world peace. Michael already resides in San Pedro with his magical wife, Danielle.