Mitsubishi Corp., Japan's largest trading company, will introduce a metal-forming 3D printer to North America starting in January 2014, Nikkei news reported.
Mitsubishi will sell the Metal Laser Sintering Hybrid Milling Machine, LUMEX Avance-25 developed by Japanese company Matsuura Machinery which has so far sold specifically in the die and mold industry in Japan and Asia.
This LUMEX Avance-25 high-performance 3-D printer is the only machine in the world which realizes one-machine one-process manufacturing of complex molds and parts using fusing metal laser sintering (3D SLS) technology and high-speed milling technology. The printer melts metal powders and sinters with laser while surfaces are milled in high speed to form metal parts with complex surface shapes.
Matsuura Machinery's printer can fabricate dies and molds of very complex geometry with dimensions as large as 250 x 250 x 180 mm.
- Laser oscillator: Yb fiber laser
- Laser Power : 400W
- Spindle Speed: 45,000 min
- Travel (X/Y/Z) : 260/260/100 mm
- Feed Rate (X/Y/Z) : 60/60/30 m/min
The LUMEX Avance-25 can produce parts in one piece, shortening lead time and reducing manufacturing costs. In addition 3D conformal water cooling channels can be integrated into the mold to increase cooling efficiency. The 3D printer will be priced at about 90 million yen ($845,946).
Mitsubishi holds the No.1 sales record of electrical discharge machines in the North American market. To market the 3D printer, Mitsubishi will tap a group sales unit in the U.S. that currently markets laser machines and electric discharging machines for die manufacturing.
The 3D printer market is currently dominated by U.S.-based companies such as 3D Systems and Stratasys, but Japan is trying to get on board. Japanese government and private companies are working on developing the next generation 3D metal printer and hope it would dramatically change the current manufacturing patterns.
Posted in 3D Printers
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ART3D wrote at 1/10/2014 12:27:39 AM:
Love it. I bet they are all going to do it now.
PinkAsso wrote at 1/2/2014 10:28:11 PM:
Won't the milled particles cause contamination of the metal powder? Few more steps needed to clean the powder for reuse?