Electron beam additive manufacturing was introduced as a process over 20 years ago, along with its competing technology selective laser melting. Both have advanced and developed in that time.  These two technologies offer the user something different.  Wayland is a new entrant to the metal additive market, offering a 3rd way, with a new technology “NeuBeam” that has electron beam melting at its core.

This paper looks at electron beam AM / NeuBeam from a machine builder’s perspective as well as the users’ perspective, sharing the fundamental aspects of the technology to the realisation of a manufacturing process.  The inherent advantages of the technology are mapped through to end use benefits, such as productivity, controllability, flexibility and quality assurance.  Electron beam AM is one of the tools in the additive manufacturing tool set, but one that is less well known.  Development of NeuBeam by Wayland Additive will be presented and its implications for the user will be discussed. 

At the heart of NeuBeam is a process that prevents electron charge accumulation of the surface of the metal powder particles, thereby changing the traditional electron beam AM process very significantly.  The paper describes the differences driven by the NeuBeam technology, whilst maintaining the traditional advantages of established electron beam processes, the differences ranging from easier powder removal, control of the material properties through unconstrained choice of operating temperature, reduced powder contamination, increased productivity, increased energy efficiency and larger part size capability.  Whilst still in its infancy the additional flexibility that NeuBeam offers the user promises capability beyond existing technology with improved ease of material development through simplified melt themes and greater process stability. The application of in-process monitoring techniques coupled with novel scan strategies, enabled by the NeuBeam process, is discussed showing the promise of real-time in-process  control.   

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