Mar 18, 2016 | By Kira
Three Iranian additive manufacturing experts, combining knowledge and experience from England, the United States, Canada, and Belgium, have launched the first Selective Laser Melting (SLM) metal 3D printer in Iran. The SLM-M100 3D printer, developed by Noura Imprinting Layers Industries (NILI), is suited both for research and industrial applications in the automotive, medical, aerospace and military sectors, and will help to promote the scientific and technical industries of Iran while commercializing 3D printing technology within the country.
SLM is a metal 3D printing process whereby a high-powered laser is used to melt metal powders and fuse them together. After each individual layer is fused, a fresh layer of powder is dispersed across the build chamber and the process is repeated. SLM 3D printers produce dense metal parts and can achieve complex geometries and lightweight structures with thin walls and hidden voids. These properties have made SLM metal 3D printing particularly sought out in the aerospace and medical industries, among others.
To fulfill this demand and to put Iran's 3D printing industry on the map, NILI, a spin-off of the Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) set out to create the country's first selective laser melting maching. The result is the SLM-M100 metal 3D printer, designed for processing both reactive and non-reactive materials, including stainless steels, titanium alloys, nickel and cobalt-based super alloys, and even aluminum alloys. It features a cylindrical chamber 100mm in diameter and 150mm in depth, and uses a 200W Fiber laser with a spot size starting at 60 microns.
In addition to the SLM-M100, NILI has developed the M200 metal 3D printer system, which offers a 200 x 200 x 250 mm working chamber and uses a 300-500W Fiber laser. Both metal 3D printers can achieve production speeds of 5 to 20 cubic centimeters per hour and layer thicknesses of 20 to 100 microns The SLM-M200 will enter the market in the third quarter of 2016.
NILI’s SLM metal 3D printer systems are equipped with built-in cameras and a number of sensors for monitoring the temperature, pressure, and oxygen levels. To make powder replacement and cleaning as easy as possible, they also feature removable building tables, and can work with a wide range of metal 3D printing powders, including commercial powders already on the market.
The SLM-M100 and M200 also come with dedicated 3D printing software that reads .CLI file format and is capable of assigning separate process parameters for each part, as well as separate process parameters for contour, skin, overhang, and the hatch of each metal 3D printed part.
“The SLM systems are designed so that they are both suited for research applications at universities and for production lines at industries,” Ehsan Foroozmehr, NILI co-founder and faculty member at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IUT told 3ders.org.
Foroozmehr, who received his PhD in Laser Material Processing from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas and completed his postdoc on 3D printing and fiber optics sensors at the University of Waterloo in Canada, co-founded Noura Imprinting Layers Industries in 2013 alongside his brother, Ahamad Foroozmehr, and colleague, Mohsen Badrossamay.
Badrossamay, who is also a faculty member at IUT, received his PhD in Selective Laser Melting from the University of Leeds and completed his postdoc in SLM and reactive materials at the University of Leuven in Belgium. Ahamed has an MS in Material Science and currently stands as CEO of NILI.
The SLM-M100 and M200 metal 3D printers will retail from $150,000 and $260,000 respectively. The company believes its SLM metal 3D printer will have applications in the automotive, medical, aerospace and casting industries. As Iran’s first SLM metal 3D printer, however, it also has the potential to bring more awareness to the country’s technical and scientific expertise, and to open Iran's 3D printing market to the world.
Posted in 3D Printer
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