Empa strengthens ANAXAM with 3D printing

The center for technology transfer ANAXAM, based in Villigen in the canton of Aargau, is gaining a new member. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) is entering the network. This will further strengthen ANAXAM in the area of 3D printing.

In 2016, the EURECA satellite was delivered to Empa for X-ray investigations. Image credit: Empa

Empa is the latest member to join ANAXAM (Analytics with Neutrons and X-Rays for Advanced Manufacturing) in Villigen in the canton of Aargau. This technology transfer center was opened in December 2019. The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), and the canton of Aargau have founded a support association for the development and operation of ANAXAM together with industry partners.

The center aims to make the knowledge and facilities of the Paul Scherrer Institute in the field of neutron and x-ray analyses more accessible for companies. Additionally, it should contribute to the exchange of experience among researchers. Its focuses include 3D printing, energy-saving materials, and composite materials, to name a few.

Empa’s admission will strengthen the network in the area of 3D printing specifically. Empa brings knowledge from this area with it as well as providing industrial companies with additional analytical equipment.

In its press release on the new membership, Empa highlights three of its devices that could be interesting for 3D printing solutions. The high-energy x-ray tomograph Linac can penetrate to a depth of up to 35 centimeters and is also suitable for x-ray images of reinforced concrete samples. The x-ray tomograph RX can take images at a resolution of 0.6 microns, thus meaning that even particularly small material defects are able to be detected. Furthermore, Empa’s phase contrast x-ray equipment is particularly well suited to lightweight materials such as plastic components, which only show as low contrast in x-ray light.

The technology transfer center ANAXAM is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center (AM-TTC) alliance that was established by Empa. In addition to ANAXAM, the technology transfer center Swiss m4m Center in Bettlach in the canton of Solothurn is also part of this alliance. On December 3, both ANAXAM and the Swiss m4m Center will present at the Kultur & Kongresshaus Aarau as part of a joint event. The Hightech Zentrum Aargau is hosting the event.

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