Nov 26, 2015 | By Tess

Last week, Frankfurt, Germany hosted Formnext 2015, an exposition dedicated to tool making and additive manufacturing technologies. The 2015 edition saw a focus on 3D printers capable of manufacturing in metal materials with Trumpf showcasing four new metal 3D printer models, and Additive Industries’ MetalFab1 being unveiled as the next generation of their industrial 3D printing.

UK based metronomy and additive manufacturing company Renishaw also got in on the wave of announcements at Formnext 2015 as they unveiled two new metal additive manufacturing systems, the RenAM 500M and AM400, as well as a new build preparation software package, QuantAM.

The RenAM 500M was designed to build complex metal components using Renishaw’s metal powder fusion technology. The 3D printer has a build volume of 250 x 250 x 350 mm, and possesses several other features including an optical system with dynamic focussing, automated powder sieving and recirculation, a 19 inch touchscreen interface, and a 500 W ytterbium fibre laser. Additionally, the RenAM 500M incorporates Renishaw’s patented SafeChange filter, which allows for the machine to be used safely almost anywhere. The RenAm 500M system, which offers open access to materials, is meant to be used for serial production in one metal type.

The AM400 for its part is a flexible metal 3D printer developed from Renishaw’s previous model: the AM250. The AM400 still has the same build volume as the previous model (250 x 250 x 300 mm) making it just slightly smaller than the RenAM500, but possesses several new and improved features. The latter include a larger filter than the AM250, improved optical control software, an adjusted gas flow and window protection, as well as a new 400 W optical system which allows for a reduced laser diameter of 70 microns. The AM400 also integrates Renishaw’s SafeChange filter system and has open material access.

Renishaw also launched its QuantAM preparation software at Formnext 2015, which was designed to facilitate usage of its AM products. As they explain, “QuantAM is designed specifically for Renishaw AM platforms, allowing tighter integration into the machine control software and the ability to accurately and rapidly review all build files for Renishaw AM systems, including those from third party packages.” The QuantAM preparation software works with .STL data files.

In addition to the product releases at the Formnext 2015 3D printing expo, Renishaw have been developing Additive Manufacturing Solutions Centres, which are set to launch in 2016. The project is an effort to make metal additive manufacturing processes more accessible to companies looking to integrate the technologies into their production processes.

Rob Weston, from Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division explains, “The problem with the metal additive manufacturing technologies is that they are very high cost technologies, they’re based on very high value equipment, and actually getting in to those technologies is really quite difficult. As part of our drive to solve that problem and to show people what Renishaw can do with additive technologies, we’re opening a range of Renishaw Solutions Centres globally.”

Essentially, the Additive Manufacturing Solutions Centres will consists of consulting practices in combination with incubator cells equipped with Renishaw AM systems. The goal is ultimately to give insight into how 3D printing technologies might benefit or be right for the company in question.

Renishaw is a UK based engineering company that specializes in metronomy, healthcare, and additive manufacturing technologies. The company was founded in 1973 and has grown to include over 70 offices in 33 countries worldwide.



Posted in 3D Printer



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