Innovative cold crucibles

The new generation of cold crucibles.
High efficiency and low consumption.

Shape at the service of efficiency

Addtoshape designs and manufactures innovative cold crucibles in pure copper with high energy efficiency. Low power consumption and high productivity make new classes of metal alloys accessible to mass production. The innovation of cold crucibles lies in the optimization of its shape through an iterative process between electromagnetic, thermal, fluid-dynamic simulations and the production method, that is, pure copper metal additive manufacturing. The levitation of the molten metal is enhanced by the shape of the crucible itself.

Traditional shape limits

Traditional cold crucibles ensure the melting of pure metals and metal alloys, without external contamination sources, for the most demanding industrial sectors in terms of material performance, such as aeronautical and automotive. However, traditional cold crucibles are strongly limited by low levitation and very low energy efficiency, which make the production processes very expensive and less efficient. The shape of traditional cold crucibles is conditioned by the cooling process, with a consequent reduction of electromagnetic efficiency.

The new shape of pure copper

High thermal and electrical conductivity of pure copper make it the ideal candidate for the construction of cold crucibles, but at the same time these features are the main challenge to their production through the technology of metal laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). The creation of the first prototypes of a new generation of cold crucibles has been encouraged by the recent possibility of producing components in pure copper, with density close to 100%, produced through additive manufacturing. Actually, the production of high efficiency cooling structures inside crucibles originates from the possibility of obtaining designed and simulated geometries made of dense and complex parts, with reduced wall thickness, therefore allowing material cost and lead time optimization.

A winning synergy.
Design for additive at its maximum.

Iterative simulation process

The iterative simulation process allows a generation of custom-made crucible shapes based on the specific class of requested metal alloys. The levitation capability of the melt, the energy requirement and the melting process efficiency are affected by density, thermal and electric conductivity and magnetism of the pure metal or alloy that has to be melted. Each class of metal to be melted requires a specific crucible shape.

New shapes for new materials

The generation of new cold crucibles is now possible thanks to the results of electromagnetic, thermal and fluid dynamics simulations of crucible coolant, and to thermal and hydrodynamic simulations of molten metal, combined with the opportunities offered by the additive manufacturing of pure copper parts.

New alloys for the additive industry

The possibility of making crucibles, of any shape and size tailor-made to the specific application, unlocks the possibility of creating new metal alloys for the additive manufacturing sector, in a clean, low-consumption and mass produced way.


The new generation of cold crucible

Addtoshape was founded with the purpose of developing, producing and spreading a new generation of cold crucibles, with the aim of industrializing their production based on pure copper additive manufacturing. To do this, Addtoshape has installed a new 3D printer, specifically commissioned for this purpose.

The evolution of an idea

The hint of the new generation of cold crucibles was born in 2015 within Officina dei Materiali Sas, a consulting company in the field of materials science and engineering. The idea immediately found a great boost thanks to the first projects that were financed and aimed at modelling the physical phenomena involved during the melting of levitating metals through simulation codes, and at optimizing the technological process of additive manufacturing of pure copper. Taking advantage of its know-how and collaborations with universities and national research laboratories, Officina dei Materiali obtained a scholarship with POR FSE funding from the Veneto Region. After that, the company participated as a lead company in the "Innovative cold crucible" initiative within the project "TEMART", using POR funding - Obiettivo "Incremento dell'attività di innovazione delle imprese" Parte FESR European regional development fund 2014-2020 again from the Veneto Region.

In the first months of 2021, at the end of the project, the first model of a new generation of cold crucibles was produced and tested, which was designed to melt metals and high melting point metal alloys. Inside it, the funnel shape and the number of cuts have been optimized to produce a gradual variation of the levitating force (in order to adapt to alloys of different densities) while maintaining an electromagnetically controllable nozzle of appropriate dimensions for the casting off of the melt. The additive manufacturing implementation exactly followed the complex optimized shape. In addition to many advantages compared to traditional crucibles, the new crucible has shown a considerable capacity to reduce energy consumption, decreasing 3-4 times the consumption of electricity necessary for melting metals in traditional cold crucibles.

Addtoshape Srl was founded in 2022 thanks to the meeting between Seitron Spa, an industrial production company working in Italian and foreign markets for over 40 years, and Officina dei Materials Sas. Addtoshape’s foundation was supported by the strong spirit of innovation and the modern industrial production capacity of Seitron, together with ten years of experience of Officina dei Materials in national research structures, as well as a new patent, registered for protecting the new generation crucible. Seitron, always motivated by the evolution of technology and by the challenges posed by new processes and new markets, has decided to venture into opportunity offered by the metal additive manufacturing of pure copper, in order to support the creation of new generation cold crucibles.

Custom design
and production

In addition to this activity, Addtoshape offers to the customers
the possibility to produce their own items by using the additive manufacturing,
starting from customer's drawings and requirements.