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Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer In-Depth Review

7.5Expert Score
Arcam EBM Spectra H

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer is a huge hit among its users. Though the price is high and is limited to the industrial sector, it will well serving the targeted audience.

Affordability
5
Quality
9
Speed
8
Capability
8
Practicality
7
User Expectations
8
PROS
  • The machine is capable of maintaining powder integrity to ensure optimal part production
  • It features 100% increase in power as well as 50% faster build times
  • Withstand higher heat more than 1000 degree Celsius allowing the incorporation of more alloys
  • Allow larger parts 3D printing and more numbers of parts at a time
  • Automating most of the processes that needed manual intervention before and providing optimal quality control
  • Faster speed and takes lesser time for production
  • Increased part printing quality
  • User friendly and simplified processes introduction for operators
  • Easy to validate and improvement in the uptime.
  • Increased efficiency
CONS
  • Post processing requirement
  • Not compatible with plastic or polymer or ceramic materials
  • Expensive and huge in size
  • Specific to industrial use

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D printer is the based on additive manufacturing technology and has been released by GE Additive. GE Additive is known for manufacturing industrial 3D printers and have provided some of the great options to the 3D printing industry.

This 3D printer is aimed to withstand high temperature so as to work with materials like TiAl and nickel alloy. This new version is designed to boost throughput as well as productivity as compared to the ones available with its predecessor.

The Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer can handle larger parts production at a faster rate making it perfect as an industrial solution. The machine can handle heat while handling few of the toughest alloys that could not be used with any other 3D printing process, except EBM (Electron Beam Melting).

Features

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer comes packed with great features to make it compatible for various applications. Mostly targeted at melting tough alloys, the printer usually works with high temperature and is used within industrial setups.

A large built and considerable space requirement comes alongside with purchase of Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer.

The latest release by GE Additive, Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer has been designed with 39% of increased build volume. This means that the 3D Printer is capable of printing even larger models and objects as it was able to do before. With bigger size one can expect to employ the working of 3D printer to even broader space applications.

A big revolution in the pre and post Heating methods have been initiated with Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer. With the introduction of 6kW HV-unit, all pre- and post-heating steps almost take half of the time when compared with other EBM machines.

This further speed up the 3D printing process, giving industries spare times for more and large scale production at a faster rate.

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3d printer

The company focus revolved around automating most of the process within the system when designing Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer. This new set up has an automated self-dosing sieve and hopper filling station process.

To make that possible, maintaining of the powder weight is being done inside the hopper filling station and the PRS. The powder hoppers have been also automated. Hence, they now are self-closing when lifted and self-open while mounted in the machine.

Moreover, the fetch position calibration takes place during a material change which before was taking place during the start of the machine.

GE Additive and its team have worked to find the perfect solution for industrial setup. Who would like to involve manpower in beam calibration? The lesser the involvement of manual intervention, the better the precision.

With the same aim, this 3D printer eliminates the need for manual calibration with the help of Arcam xQam automatic calibration technology. Using this, the step can be completed in 15 minutes which used to take three to four hours. Again, improving the speed invested during basic steps.

Not to forget, with closed powder handling system, the safety of operator is well taken care of. Using a cyclone for low and high density powder, the unwanted particles are removed without any problem. To get rid of magnetic or coarse particles, the machine has the sieving process.

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Specifications

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer has a build volume of Ø250 x 430mm as compared to its predecessor which featured a build volume of 200 x 200 x 380mm. This is a 39% rise. A huge leap taken by the company in the designing of this 3D printer.

Talking about the diameter and height of the machine, you are looking at a huge 250 mm diameter x 430 mm height size. The temperature can exceed 1000 degree Celsius. Safety measures are introduced by the manufacturer of the machine by keeping the closed system in place. So, one can work around the machine without any worries.

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer has the auto-calibrated 6kW beam.

All these specifications make this printer sturdy and safe for melting tough metals and work around it without any issues.

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Price

The price ranges between $ 100,000 – $ 250,000. An expected range for the 3D printer falling under industrial grade printing. Falling under this range restricts the usage of this printer for large scale production within the manufacturing industries.

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First Impressions

Arcam EBM Spectra H printer

A giant machine with locked doors would rather give you can impression of a safe or something of that sort, if you are not familiar with large 3D printers. It looks beautiful with great outer design.

A touch screen of tablet size is featured at the front of the machine. Overall, it looks amazing to see such a huge 3D printer with amazing features and high efficiency.

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Setup

As most of the task has been automated, the setup won’t be a huge question with this huge Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer. If you have worked with other machines based on EBM, you can use this too without a problem.

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Printing Type/Cost

The Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer runs on EBM process, also known as Electron Beam Melting process.

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EBM:

Electron beam Melting may seem like an SLS process in the first sight. However, it is completely different from an SLS Process. Electron beam melting is used for building parts from conductive metals instead of thermoplastic polymer. This is not it. The energy source makes the major difference to both the processes. EBM utilizes electron beams instead of CO2 lasers to fuse the metals together.

SLS works on resins that is used in their liquid form. However, in EBM, the material is used in their powdered form. The EBM technology is based on electric charges. These electric charges are responsible for reactions that occur between the electron beam and the powdered material. This further leads to solidifying of the metal selectively.

After the material is filled in the machine and the required internal pressure is achieved, the electron beam is used to raise the temperature which is different for different metal.

The powder re-coater is used to deposit one layer of powder each time. After the layer is deposited, the electron beams are used to melt and fuse the powder together. Once the layer solidifies, the second layer is deposited using powder re-coater.

This process is repeated until the final part is not ready. The post processing methods are used to take out the parts inside of the scattered powder.

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Material Used:

As mentioned before, the machine uses materials that are conductive, or else, the electron beams won’t react and the process won’t happen at all. This is the reason why the Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer cannot be used for 3D printing with PLA or ceramics.

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer is especially designed to work with four material:

  • TiAl: This material is an alloy of titanium and aluminium, titanium aluminide. Being lighter than nickel based alloys, these are used for making low pressure turbines and is regarded as the most advanced aerospace material.
  • Nickel alloy 718: This alloy is again a great material for producing corrosion resistant and sturdy parts. The alloy is a combination of nickel and chromium with some extracts of niobium, iron, and molybdenum. Very minute amount of titanium and aluminium is also used in making of this alloy.
  • Ti6Al4V Grade 5: This titanium alloy is the grade 5 alloy and is used for more than 50% of all the 3D printing that happens with various titanium alloys. Make stronger parts and very reliable material for aerospace application.
  • Ti6Al4V Grade 23: The alloy is a combination of titanium, aluminium and vanadium. Usually utilized for Complex designing, wireframe geometries etc.
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Print Quality

The print quality is best as compared to the most of the EBM machines out there in the market. The higher efficiency and production speed have provided the machine to produce more parts within the comparative time frame.

Arcam EBM Spectra H print sample

The finer details are possible with the use of this machine. One can create complex geometric designs using Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer. Either its about creating lighter parts for aerospace application or building complex designs, Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer can make every task completed with perfect finish.

The post processing is required to bring the best out of the parts created. One can design objects as well as functional prototypes using this huge machine capable of unveiling great potential coming forward.

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Customer Service

The company is focused at providing the best customer support solutions to its customers. The team of professional and highly qualified engineers help maintain the smooth running of the 3D printers throughout their life.

The company also signs service agreement with their customers which includes access to the updates, phone and mail support that is available 24×7, preventive maintenance actions, spare parts and emergency support.

The company also has a team of application support engineer. These engineers ensure the optimization of EBM process according to the specific needs of every industry operation. You also get access to different training processes for different levels of users.

You can also request for customized training processes in case you want to develop EBM process for new materials.

The company is known as one of the best customer support providers within its competitors. You can expect the problem to be resolved at the earliest once put into ears of support specialist of the company.

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Parameters Influencing the Purchase Decision

3D Printer cost: The price is on the higher side between $100,000 – $250,000. However, what can you expect for an industrial specific printer.

3D Print quality: The print quality is better than most of the 3D printers working on the EBM process in the market as of date. The automated systems and powder handling processes have increased the precisions of the printer settings. And, is allowing for best quality prints.

3D Print speed: The speed has been raised the bar for many EBM machines currently available for purchase. The pre and post heating automation has resulted in reducing the preparation time as well as the 100% increase in the power of the machine has led to faster print speed.

3D Printer capability: The printer is capable of withstanding high temperature of more than 1000 degree Celsius. The EBM process can be customized as per the industry specific applications and feasible for adding newer material to the already existing list of materials.

3D Printer Practicality: The usage of printer is broader than one can think. With more power and better features, the application can be widened when needed. As of now, the 3D printer is being used for aerospace, orthopaedic implants and few other sectors.

3D Printer User expectations: Expectation have always been higher from GE additive. And, the company has justified every expectation well. From speed to the larger volume, the feedbacks have been incorporated well with the release of Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer.

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Verdict

There is one word for this 3D printer – ‘Amazing’. It could have been quoted perfect, however, with advancement, it is definitely a chance that better technology would be seen sooner. That does not anywhere lessen the contribution of this revolutionary EBM machine.

7.5 Total Score
Arcam EBM Spectra H

Arcam EBM Spectra H 3D Printer is a huge hit among its users. Though the price is high and is limited to the industrial sector, it will well serving the targeted audience.

PROS
  • The machine is capable of maintaining powder integrity to ensure optimal part production;It features 100% increase in power as well as 50% faster build times
  • Withstand higher heat more than 1000 degree Celsius allowing the incorporation of more alloys
  • Allow larger parts 3D printing and more numbers of parts at a time
  • Automating most of the processes that needed manual intervention before and providing optimal quality control
  • Faster speed and takes lesser time for production
  • Increased part printing quality
  • User friendly and simplified processes introduction for operators
  • Easy to validate and improvement in the uptime
  • Increased efficiency
CONS
  • Post processing requirement
  • Not compatible with plastic or polymer or ceramic materials
  • Expensive and huge in size
  • Specific to industrial use
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