How does Laser Metal 3D Printing work?

::: How does Laser Metal 3D Printing work?

The process starts from a three-dimensional model of the part or set of parts you want to print.

How does Laser Metal 3D Printing work?
  1. Specific software cuts the model into individual thin layers and calculates the welding paths for each layer.
  2. During the printing process, a working base placed on a piston lowers the microns specified in the layer thickness. Normally 50 – 60 μm.
  3. A dust dispensing system provides enough dust to cover the gap generated in the tank by the descent of the piston.
  4. A brush spreads and shaves the powder homogeneously on the surface.
  5. A head of galvos, directs by means of mirrors, a laser beam on the surface, melting in a specific way the desired areas with the lower base. Support structures (straps) are calculated to prevent the regrowth of some areas of the piece.
  6. Welding is performed in a controlled atmosphere, usually argon, to avoid the presence of oxygen.
  7. A recirculation system is responsible for generating gas blades that sweep and filter the spatters that occur during the printing process.
  8. The process is repeated until the printing is finished, leaving the piece finely submerged in the dust pool.
  9. Once the printing is finished, the piston ascends its entire stroke. At this moment the piece emerges on the work plate.
  10. The excess dust is evacuated for later reuse and the piece is extracted.

::: Laser beam powder bed fusion technology

The technology of 3D printing in metal by laser allows to obtain final parts with excellent mechanical qualities, which in many cases are impossible to manufacture by other means. Powder bed melting is the leading technology for the manufacture of precision metal objects with complex geometries. It allows to reproduce practically any geometric shape in different metallic materials such as Stainless Steel, Tool Steel, Inconel, Cobalt-Chrome and many other alloys.

High density values are achieved, above other additive manufacturing techniques in metal. This technology is very useful for manufacturing final parts with very complex geometries and structures with thin walls and/or hollows or hidden channels.

::: Powder Bed Melting

  • Final parts with excellent mechanical qualities and that in many cases are impossible to manufacture by other means.
  • It allows to generate within the parts, support structures and internal filling that provide an important resistance to pressure, torsion, and traction tests, with a considerable reduction in weight. These types of structures are known as “bird bone”.
  • The technique allows to play with the density of the material avoiding the internal pores that occur, for example, in the injection processes.
  • Printing by means of a high-power laser beam (>200 W) on a bed of metal powder, using a galvo head that moves two mirrors at high speed.
  • The layer ranges from 20 to 100 microns.
  • Long machine life which has much less mechanical wear
  • Manufacture of high precision parts in stainless steel (A316L), tool steel (C300) and inconel (IN718).
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