Our mission is to revolutionize manufacturing across industries with our innovative technology for additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, of metals. This patented process is unique and differs from others because there is no melting of the metal. Because it can be scaled to manufacture very large parts, it will open up new possibilities for the use of additive manufacturing at sizes never before seen. This is the future of additive manufacturing at scale.
The patented MELD™ process is innovative because it is the first non-melt-based process to make metal and metallic parts at large scale in the industry. Its flexibility for material inputs and for process uses is unmatched. With a new commercially available machine, users can do more than additive manufacturing, with multiple materials, in open atmosphere. Further, it yields properties that are near, at, or exceed wrought, at high deposition rates.
New MELD™ machines offer a novel, environmentally-friendly, scalable, method to perform a range of solid-state deposition processes, including coating of dissimilar materials, building 3D structures, creation of new alloys and customized compositions, repairing, and joining. All of this is possible with one machine that can process a broad spectrum of materials including, but not limited to, metals, composites, and their combinations. Materials used to date include magnesium, aluminum, aluminum silicon carbide, copper, copper metal matrix composites with a wide variety of refractories, magnesium, steel, oxide dispersion strengthened steel, ultra-high strength steel, nickel-based super alloys, titanium, and more. MELD is even capable of fabricating components or repairs using unweldable metals.
MELD™ machines are capable of processing a variety of raw material forms, including solid bar, powder, granules, pellets, beads, flakes, and even scrap pieces generated from subtractive operations. Tailored compositions and functional grading in deposited layers are possible by using the multi-material MELD™ feeding system.
The MELD™ machine deposits the material by thermo-mechanical means; it causes a severe plastic deformation in the material and stays below the melting temperature at all times, creating refined grain structures as a result. The MELD process eliminates issues usually associated with the melting and solidification steps in fusion-based additive manufacturing processes yielding objects with compromised mechanical performance like hot cracks, pores, segregation and residual stresses. It also eliminates similar issues found in metal coating processes, including porosity, significant oxide content, and poor bonding.
MELD™ machines can also be uniquely operated in open-atmosphere, meaning no special chambers or vacuums are needed. The MELD™ machine overcomes the challenges related to the dimensions of the fabricated parts, which are common to some of the known additive manufacturing processes, where the size of the bed or the chamber dictates the dimensions of the final parts. This feature coupled with its fully-scalable equipment make MELD capable of producing parts on a much larger scale than competing technologies. MELD machines can be made bigger as needed to suit a range of applications. This versatility, along create bigger, better quality parts, sets MELD apart as an innovator in manufacturing technology.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Nanci Hardwick
Type of entry: individual
Nanci is inspired by:
Our goal is to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. We want to see the world making new things in alternative ways and to change the way we think about material limitations.
Patent status: patented