Dec.5, 2012

Along with the unveiling of the Objet1000 3D printer, another 'big' announcement at Euromold is a new high-performance LaserCusing® machine, the X line 1000R, for fabricating series components.

Daimler AG, the automaker assigned the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT -- a commercially focused research center in Aachen, Germany) and Concept Laser, a specialist in laser fusion systems to develop this new laser melting machine with a build chamber that's larger than any previous model.

The X line 1000R was developed for the tool-less manufacturing of large functional components. The centrepiece of the X line 1000R consists of a high-power laser in the kilowatt range which enables an increase in productivity of up to a factor of 10 compared with standard laser fusing machines available on the market.

The X line 1000R has a build volume of 630 mm × 400 mm × 500 mm. It has a rotating build bed - when the build at one side is over, a new build could continue on the opposite side. This design could make the production process very faster.

LaserCusing process:

Concept Laser's patented LaserCusing process is equivalent to selective laser melting (SLM): fine metallic powders are locally fused by a fiber laser, causing the materials to solidify as an alloy. The contour of the component is produced by directing the laser beam with a mirror-deflecting unit (scanner.) The component is built in layers (with layer thicknesses of 20-100 μm) by lowering the bottom of the installation space, applying more powder, and fusing again.

It produces high-precision metallic components that withstand mechanical and thermal loads. Depending on the application, the materials used are high-grade steel alloys, tool steels, aluminum or titanium alloys, nickel-based super alloys, and cobalt-chromium alloys. In the future, the process is expected to work with precious metals too, such as gold and silver.

Develop complex components faster

The aim of Daimler AG was to replace costly sand-casting and die-casting applications in early phases of development. In addition, the LaserCUSING process will in future offer the possibility of generating lightweight structures with a high level of rigidity which will permit weight-optimised geometries, with almost no restrictions on the design, but at present cannot be manufactured in this way with the manufacturing techniques which are available today.


Source: Fraunhofer

Posted in 3D Printers


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