Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing (KAM) announced a partnership with additive materials development leader, Elementum 3D, where the companies will collaborate to create new opportunities for entry into the additive manufacturing (AM) industry.
Elementum 3D is supplying KAM with advanced materials for additive manufacturing such as A6061- RAM2 powder, the only AM material comparable to wrought 6061-T6 properties. Aluminum 6061 is a commonly used aerospace and automotive aluminum alloy which was previously unprintable. KAM will be the first and only supplier in North America to use 6061 in an SLM 280 printer. The combination of the SLM 280 which boasts twin 700w lasers, plus the Elementum 3D 6061 powder, will not only allow KAM to print at faster speeds, but will allow the hybrid manufacturing company to do so in material that could not otherwise be accomplished. The 6061 will print an average of 65% faster in the SLM 280 and provide a big advantage in time savings to end users. This breakthrough advancement in AM is a major step forward for both companies.
“Elementum 3D’s commitment to the development of advanced materials aligns well with KAM’s innovative growth plan based around hybrid manufacturing,” said Jacob Nuechterlein, Elementum 3D president and founder. “We are proud to partner with their team and evolve our technologies together. There’s increasing demand within our customer base for aluminums like the 6061. It’s taking off and this material is at the forefront of the trend.”
Developing and using the 6061 material effectively will allow KAM to go after markets such as aerospace and automotive that currently use AlSi10Mg as the standard material. The ability to do so will be a gamechanger in the industry.
“This opens up a lot of doors for us and widens our overall capabilities offerings,” said Kevin Cwiok, lead AM engineer for KAM. “To offer a replacement for traditional aluminum alloys that are not only faster, but are also more durable with better surface finish, I think we’ll have a lot of customers who will be really excited about that.”
Elementum 3D and KAM will also work jointly on different development projects in additive, including the testing of new materials. Based in Erie, Colorado, Elementum 3D is known for their commitment to deliver results in materials innovation, performance, and efficiency. Their materials solutions increase product strength, durability and reduce weight. Elementum 3D’s IP technology, reactive additive manufacturing (RAM), prohibits cracking that usually happens during solidification, while achieving or exceeding the same properties of the traditional alloys. Additionally, Elementum 3D’s ability to develop customized materials to match wrought properties, such as the 6061, provide a solution to materials that are not printable in their current form.
The two companies have many synergies that strengthen the partnership, such as the drive to move at fast speeds and the desire to explore unchartered territories in additive manufacturing.
“I love what they’re doing at Elementum 3D,” said Brad Keselowski, founder and CEO of KAM. “Their materials enable KAM to engineer and manufacture metal 3D- printed parts that are faster and higher in quality than anything that is currently out in the marketplace.. I think we’re going to continue to do a lot of innovative work together that’ll lead to positive developments within the additive community. It’s a really exciting time for both companies.”