29 November 2022
by Sarah Morgan

Life cycle assessment on additive manufacturing

6K Additive and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are collaborating on a life cycle assessment (LCA) for additive manufacturing.

6K says that the UniMelt platform offers multifaceted sustainability benefits © 6K

The study conducted at the labs of Fraunhofer ILT analyses an additively manufactured industrial component that includes the environmental impact from powder, printing, and post-processing.

The goal is to analyse factual data to help understand the real environmental impact of printing a metal part using laser powder bed fusion.

The study uses Ni718 powder, produced by 6K Additive, for an industrial component manufactured on a laser powder bed fusion machine to better understand the carbon footprint from material through additive manufacturing process and post-processing.

Frank Roberts, President of 6K Additive adds, 'The results of this study will provide the tools to allow customers to identify real solutions and help organisations drive toward carbon neutrality.'

6K Additive previously released two life cycle assessment projects for both titanium and nickel powders. It was found that for Ni718 powder, 6K’s UniMelt process at minimum delivered a 91% energy reduction and 92% carbon emission reduction from traditional processes.

The independent study can be download here.