Additive Manufacturing

JAN 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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 43

CHECK THIS OUT By Peter Zelinski JANUARY 2018 Additive Manufacturing 40 Four-Laser Hardware Shows What a Four-Laser Machine Can Do The enabling technology for a new four-laser additive manufacturing machine is additive manufacturing. At the recent Formnext show in Germany, Renishaw introduced its RenAM 500Q selective laser melting machine, which applies four 500-Watt lasers within a com- pact machine offering a build volume of 250 by 250 by 350 mm. Concentrating four lasers within the tight space brings the lasers close to one another. Heat is a concern, and it was a potential impediment to the design. The solution to this challenge that Renishaw engineers found involves a laser galvo mount enhanced for cooling via a large internal surface area resulting from a complex internal design that was realized through AM. The company's display of the galvo mount at Formnext, where these photos were taken, therefore answered two important questions at once. One question: Why additive? In the case of this part, the reason for using AM was the set of internal features that couldn't be produced practically in any other way. And the other question: Why four lasers? The reason for using four lasers at once is the increased productivity that comes from being able to melt metal at a higher rate than a single beam would allow. Showing how far the machine can get in a given pe- riod using one laser, two lasers and four lasers illustrated the productivity gain at each step. Meanwhile, the incomplete parts left by the slower processes provided a view into the otherwise hidden geometry that enables the compact machine. For comparison, here is how much of the galvo mount can be built in 19 hours using only one laser (left) and using two lasers (right). The incomplete parts reveal the geometry on the inside that aids cooling. Renishaw introduced the RenAM 500Q at Formnext. The machine employs four lasers within a build area just under 10 inches square by more than 13 inches tall. The 3D-printed galvo mount enables the compact four- laser machine thanks to internal geometry engineered for cooling. And thanks to the productivity of four lasers, this part can be built in 19 hours.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Additive Manufacturing - JAN 2018