Features of EBM

For powder bed fusion type of metal 3D printer, SLM (Selective Laser Melting) and EBM (Electron Beam Melting) are the major ones. The type of metal used and quality (such as tolerance and roughness) achieved can be different between SLM and EBM. If you can understand the both features, you can judge which type of 3D printer us suitable for your need.

Comparison between EBM and SLM

Heat source EBM (Electron Beam Melting) SLM (Selective Laser Melting) KEY POINTS
Output Higher(3.5~6.0kW) Lower(0.4〜0.6kW)  
Materials Enables use of high melting-point material Does not allow for use of high melting-point materials (and high reflection material, such as pure-copper)  
Powder size 45~105μm <45μm Powder size difference due to power of heat source
Layer thickness 50~90μm 20~50μm Layer thickness affect on forming time
Chamber tmosphere Vacuumed / Preheated Inert gas substituted EBM requires preheat for temporary powder sintering LBM prevent oxidation by inert gas substitution
Surface Inferior Good Surface is affected by powder size and layer thickness
Support(Stress-relief) Simple(because of preheat) Sturdy(due to ordinary temp.) Lesser support make the process more economical in terms of post process (finishing) and yield
  • EBM offers high-speed forming due to its higher output of the heat source than SLM.
  • Since EBM conducts preheat to make temporary sintered powder in order to avoid powder charging during forming, there is less residual stress and limited risk of deformation and cracks due to internal stress after forming.
  • SLM use finer powder. This means that the surface texture (smoothness) of the finished product is superior to that of product by EBM, making them suitable for forming more microstructural components.

EBM Production with SUS316L

By producing with EBM, production time can be significantly shortened, and a large cost reduction effect + short delivery time can be expected compared to LBM. Furthermore, EBM basically does not require heat treatment to relieve stress because production is conducted under a high temperature environment.

Example:In case of 20 x 20 x 20mm size product

No of peaces LBM production time (h)
(Concept Laser M2-1st generation)
EBM production time(h)
(Arcam A2X)
Product time
reduction effect
1 5 10 +100%
10 29 15 -49%
20 56 21 -63%
30 82 27 -67%
40 109 33 -70%
50 133 39 -81%
  Tensile strength(MPa) Yield stress(MPa) Elongation(%)
ASTM F3184規格 515 205 30
JAMPT LBM 450-550 200-250 20-25
JAMPT EBM* 460-480 224 28

*Parameters for further strength improvement is under development