Croft Additive Manufacturing is
a specialist company that provides Stainless Steel 316L metal
additive manufactured (AM) parts to a range of industries: from
Motorsport and Manufacturing to Art and Fashion. Based in
Warrington, England, Croft offers an innovative and flexible
approach to supplying Customers with AM products.
At Croft our aim is to supply industrial additive manufactured
components to our customers, helping them to fully utilise the
technology to suit their individual needs and to solve their unique
problems. To work as a team to deliver exceedingly high quality of
both products and service, rewarding staff accordingly.
Benefits of the additive process such as: Part Weight Reduction,
Multi-part to Single Component and Expanded Design Capabilities
allow our Customers to re-think their approach to their designs in
order to improve the efficiency, utility or aesthetics of their
The process starts with CAD model (in
either .stl or step -.stp or .igs format). The model Is assessed
in-house whether it can be built using the AM process and is
developed to fully utilise the advantages of AM, if this is desired
by the customer.
The CAD model is then sliced into even layers, in a range 25-50
micron depending on the part. This file is the uploaded onto the
Selective Laser Melting AM machine.
The build plate is then heated to 200℃ as the pressure increases
slightly within the build chamber. An inert gas is introduced within
the chamber as the oxygen levels decreases by 0.2%.
A fine layer of powder is then extruded up onto the build plate,
being even distributed by a wiper blade; this layer corresponds with
the first slice of the CAD file.
A high powered laser then melts the metal powder according to the
Once the first layer is complete, the build plate drops according to
the layer size. Another layer of powder is then added over the first
The second layer is then melted over the first according to the CAD
file. The process is then repeated until the part is complete.
Usually the surface roughness of an AM part is rougher than that of
machined parts. Surfaces that require specific finish/surface
roughness should be identified before start of build. Finishing
processes availably include: sand blasting, vibratory finish, tumble
finish and others on request.