Additive Manufacturing

SEP 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

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Page 39 of 43

SEPTEMBER 2018 Additive Manufacturing TECH REVIEW 38 Multi-Laser Metal Printer Boosts Productivity The TruPrint 5000 metal 3D printer from Trumpf is equipped with three scanner-guided, 500-W fiber lasers for improved 3D printing times to support production appli- cations. The three lasers are fitted with optics, enabling them to operate simultaneously at any point in the sys- tem's construction chamber. As a result, they can generate components faster and more efficiently, irrespective of the number and geometry of the components, the company says. This multi-laser concept does not limit the lasers to de- fined areas in the process chamber, for greater speed and productivity. Exposure strategies developed by Trumpf au- tomatically calculate the ideal laser paths, so that all three lasers can always expose multiple parts. The finished com- ponents are said to be seamless, as the outer contours are produced with a single laser. If all process parameters are in optimum settings, TruPrint 5000 requires just a third of the exposure time per job, the company says. Based on Laser Metal Fusion (LMF) manufacturing technology, the system uses laser power to generate complex metallic components layer by layer in the powder bed. The components can measure as much as 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height and consist of all weldable materials, such as steels, nickel-base alloys, titanium, aluminum and high-carbon hot-work steels. According to Trumpf, pre-heating the printer to 500°C ensures high component quality, particularly for hot-work steels and titanium, and guarantees a robust construction process for all materials. The TruPrint 5000 is equipped with automation fea- tures, making the machine able to start the manufacturing process automatically. As soon as the build cylinder is placed in the system, it moves automatically to its setup and working position. The integrated zero-point clamping system is the basis for downstream process steps such as EDM, milling and turning. It connects the substrate plate automatically with the piston in the cylinder, doing away with the need for manual work steps, such as tightening screws, the company says. Next, a transport system in the process chamber plac- es covers over the build and supply cylinders and sets them to a rest position, and the manufacturing process starts autonomously. In the next step, the lasers calibrate themselves, the substrate plate aligns itself and the con- struction process starts automatically. By means of the integrated tool-change cylinder principle, the build cylin- der can travel out with the finished components, while the construction chamber remains inert with shield gas and is able to start immediately on the next job. This reduces downtimes and increases productivity. The covered build cylinder can travel directly into the unpacking station, increasing machine availability and protecting users from powder exposure. Excess powder is returned to the Trumpf sieve station, capable of cleaning several hundred kilograms of powder per hour to maintain powder quality. Wire Feedstock-Based Process Delivers Metal 3D Printer Produces Detailed Parts Designed for R&D, application development and produc- tion, the DMP Flex 100 from 3D Systems is said to provide as much as twice the throughput of the ProX DMP 100. It produces precision metal parts with complex fine details and thin walls, achieving accuracy, repeatability and surface finish as fine as Ra 5 microns. The printer offers a build volume of 100 × 100 × 80 mm (3.94" × 3.94" × 3.15") and is powerful enough to process materials including titanium grades and other alloys. 3D Systems' 3DXpert software solution for Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM) is included with the DMP Flex 100 to ensure a streamlined, repeatable process for high-quality prints. Metal Parts Faster Digital Alloys has announced patents on its Joule Printing technology for high-speed metal additive manufacturing. The Joule Printing AM process uses wire feedstock and high deposition rates to 3D print hard metal parts faster and at lower cost. According to Digital Alloys, initial applications of the technology include the production of conformally cooled tools for the automotive and consumer products industries, and the delivery of high-quality titani- um parts for the aerospace industry.

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