EBM, SEBM, EBAM, EBSM, E-PBF, EB-FFF,… different acronyms for similar things

Let’s talk terminology for a minute!

The additive manufacturing (AM) world abounds in acronyms and abbreviations. For clarity, we at Freemelt adhere to generic terms recommended by standardisation organizations such as ASTM and ISO.

Freemelt is working with the technology known as E-PBF or ”Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion”.

”Powder Bed Fusion” is defined by ISO/ASTM as an ”additive manufacturing process in which thermal energy selectively fuses regions of a powder bed”. The thermal energy in our Freemelt ONE machine is provided by an electron beam with power up to 6 kilowatt. That’s a massive amount of power concentrated into a narrow beam!

E-PBF is frequently described by other terms in the literature, for example:
EBM – Electron Beam Melting
SEBM – Selective Electron Beam Melting
EBSM – Electron Beam Selective Melting
EBAM – Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing

We avoid these alternative terms since they just add confusion for unexperienced readers, and furthermore, some of the terms are registered trademarks representing technology from specific suppliers.

The situation is similarly confusing for powder bed technologies empowered by lasers. The standardized term is L-PBF, ”Laser Powder Bed Fusion”, but other terms and trademarks flourish in the literature, such as DMLS, LBM, DMLM, SLM and LAM.

AM folks, wouldn’t life be easier if we use a common language? Check out the ISO/ASTM52900:2015 document to learn more about recommended AM terminology.

Ulf Ackelid, Ph.D.

Principal Scientist and Co-Founder

I have a PhD in applied physics and 25 years of industrial experience. Since 2002, I am working with additive manufacturing (AM) of metals with focus on electron beam technology. I have specialized in materials and process development for AM, and I have also contributed with several innovations and patents in this field. I am primarily an experimentalist who loves practical problem solving and hands-on laboratory work. Even though I have been working for industrial companies for a long time, a piece of my heart and soul is still devoted to academic R&D.

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