CERN engineers 3D print array of thin wall cooling components for LHCb

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The use of 3D printing at CERN has been picking up significantly as new opportunities emerge for AM technologies to produce the unique components that power the world’s most complex machine. Using a DMP350 metal 3D printer from 3D Systems, CERN engineers now 3D printed an array of 44 thin-wall (250um) complex high precision cooling circuit components for the LHCb detector at CERN.
The engineers used Ti6Al4V ELI (grade 23) alloy for the build configuration that you see in this image with 2 mirrored designs for 2 rows and 11 columns for a total of 44 parts in one job. The overall build time : 3 days (but you can easily imagine how long it would take to produce these by die-cast if it were even possible) and the parts were made with a layer thickness of just 30 microns.

The design shown here is by Nikhef with DfAM guidance from 3D Systems AIG Team in Leuven supporting the team currently updating the LHCb* detector CERN.

3D Systems’ DMP Flex 350 metal 3D printer was designed for flexible application use for R&D projects, application development and serial production, scalable for volume part production. Quick-swap build modules and fast powder recycling speed up production. A central server manages print jobs, materials, settings and maintenance for 24/7 productivity.


At the company’s advanced manufacturing centers, 3D Systems 3D printed over 500,000 highly-complicated metal parts to continuously improve the machine through closed-loop feedback between the production team and product development. The machine comes an integrated solution that includes the DMP Flex 350 printer with patented technology, the extensively tested suite of LaserForm materials, 3DXpert metal additive manufacturing software, and the expertise of our application engineers to realize time, cost and functionality benefits. Users can also count on reliable material databases for precision metal 3D printing without having to go through the challenging time and cost-consuming effort of developing process parameters themselves.


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