Home / Blog / Digital transformation in Manufacturing V

Digital transformation in Manufacturing V

Directed Energy Deposition of metal on metal. Image credit: BeAM

7. Directed energy deposition (DED)

This technology can be considered as a variation of the Electron Beam Deposition, or other deposition technologies involving laser beams, discussed in a previous post. It is often used as a way to repair metal cracks by adding metal that becomes fused with the one existing, keeping the strength of the original part, as an example to fix cracks in fan’s turbine. It can also be used

Schematic overview of various DED technologies. Image credit: Digital Alloys

to add ceramic materials and mixture of metal and ceramics. Depending on the heating technology adopted (laser or electrons beam) it has to operate in specific environment (inert gas to avoid oxygen contamination when using laser heating, vacuum when using electron beams).

The interest in DED is the possibility of creating alloys on the fly, at the time an object is being 3D printed.

A further strong point of DED is the lower cost of the whole process with respect to normal Laser Powder Bed and E-beam Powder Bed (see graphic).

The word “Energy” in DED emphasises the significant amount of energy (heat) involved and this intense heating can create (does create) stress in the underlining metal structure. This requires a continuous monitoring of the process and when needed the stopping of the printing to let the substrata recover from the stress.

DED cost compared to other similar technologies. Image credit: Digital Alloys

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.