Can Machining Chips Find New Life in Additive Manufacturing?

By Stephanie Hendrixson, Contributing Editor, Modern Machine Shop

Recycling of chips and scrap metal is a matter of course for most machine shops; sending this material off to a processor is a way to reclaim some of the capital invested in stock that cannot be used otherwise. But what happens to that metal once it is out of sight? Is there a way to not just recycle, but upcycle, that material into something even more valuable?

This is part of the vision of 6K Additive, a materials processor based in Pennsylvania that has developed a way to turn various types of metal into high-value, infinitely flexible powders that can be applied in 3D printing. The technique can be used to refurbish leftover powder from the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process; refine oversized powder produced through gas atomization; or transform metal chips, grindings and even full parts into usable powder.

6K Additive uses a two-step process to do this. First, the feedstock material is cleaned and mechanically milled down to the desired size. Then, the particles are passed through a column of microwave plasma using…

Read the full article on Modern Machine Shop.

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