Oct 24, 2018 | By Thomas

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it has developed a unique dot forming AM technology that realizes high-precision shaping by combining laser, computer numerical control (CNC) and computer aided manufacturing CAM technologies in 3D printers.

The technology employs a laser wire directed-energy deposition (DED) method, an additive-manufacturing process where focused thermal energy is used to fuse materials by melting them as they are depositied.

The process of DED is similar to that of the material extrusion but in DED 3D printing method, the nozzle supplying the material particles or wire is mounted on a multi axis arm. It can move in multiple directions, not fixed to a specific axis, and can project the feed supply onto the target surface from any angle. The model is then built on a surface from bottom to top layer by layer. The shape of the 3D model is controlled by controlling the feed rate and the angle from which the metal wire or particles are deposited on the surface.

DED is specifically used to create 3D models from metals and alloys and quite commonly used for repairing and maintaining structural parts. The technology produces high-quality 3D parts with few voids at high speed. Mitsubishi Electric believes that its new technology will boost productivity in a wide range of applications, such as the “near-net” (near-final) shaping of aircraft and automobile parts and build-up repairs, as well as hollow and overhanging shapes. The technology can be also be used in tandem with parts produced using other manufacturing methods.

The new technology uses laser-welding wire which is common and is relatively inexpensive. Another benefit the new technology offers is the significantly higher level of precision as the shape accuracy is 60% more precise when compared to consecutive forming technology. Oxidation, a problem with the conventional technology, can be reduced by more than 20% compared to the conventional technology because high temperature area are limited to a narrow spot forming area.

Mitsubishi Electric expects to launch a commercial version of the dot forming technology within the fiscal year ending in March 2021.

Mitsubishi Electric will be showcasing the new technology at the 29th Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF2018), a 6 day event being held from 1st November to the 6th November 2018 at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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