Additive manufacturing

Three researchers in a lab with 3D-printer.
The lab with 3D printer for metal products at Linköping University. Photo: Teiksma Buseva

Additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing or freeform manufacturing, is a relatively new production method that has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. With this technology, manufacturers can create components directly from a CAD model in an automatic manner.

Additive manufacturing makes it possible to create new innovative materials but also to create components with extremely complex geometries. There are many different techniques in additive manufacturing, such as powder bed technology, stereolithography and fused deposition modeling (FDM).

Metallics and other materials

Everyone uses different methods to create the finished products. In powder bed technology, the components are built up layer by layer. This is done by melting parts of each powder layer with a laser or electron beam. This technology is used not only for metallic products, but also for the manufacture of products in polymers and other materials.

Research is needed

Mechanical properties of components manufactured using additive manufacturing may differ from those of components manufactured using conventional techniques. This depends on the inherent complexity of the techniques and on many different process parameters, such as layer thickness, energy density, scanning strategy, build speed and preheating temperature.

In order to introduce additive manufacturing for critical and highly stressed products, it is necessary to understand how the process affects, for example, fatigue properties and damage resistance.

The project is a collaboration with IMA, SAAB, Siemens Energy, AM Printservice, Curt Nicolin Gymnasiet, Etteplan, Interspectral and Swemac.

Research projects

Freemelt One

Photo of 3D printer for metal printing.

One of the largermanufacturers of EB-PBF machines is Freemelt, with their flagship Freemelt One. 

Freemelts machines are open source, which provides the user with the possibility to change and produce anything within the limits of the machine. Freemelt One also utilizes a vacuum chamber, which creates a clean and stable environment in the build chamber without the need for an inert gas. Another advantage of the Freemelt One is the possibility to add additional components to the machine, such as temperature sensors, cameras, or other utilities in any of the machine’s additional inlets.


  • Open source
  • Beam powder 0-6 kW
  • Beam acceleration voltage 60 kV
  • Back-scatter detector
  • Build volume 100mm x 100 mm Ø
  • Extension possibilities with additional heat sensors and other inlets
  • Possibilities for custom installation.

Research group

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