Compact 3D metal printers for small parts

Optomec has developed two new 3D metal printers suitable for small part production and repair based on the company’s directed energy deposition (DED) technology.

According to the company, the systems have a 250 x 250 x 250 mm build volume and are available in 3 axis or 5 axis versions capable of simultaneous 5 axis coordinated motion for full free space printing. The print head can automatically changing the laser spot size and output power on the fly, making it possible to apply material faster to larger areas of the part but still create fine features with lower heat input to thinner areas of the build, Optomec said. The machines can also print reflective and reactive alloys such as copper, aluminum and titanium, as well as common metals such as steels and nickels.

The CS250 machine, designed for research, is an all-in-one system with up to four integrated powder feeders. It is small enough to pass through a standard doorway, facilitating use in many existing research labs, Optomec said.

The HC-TBR machine is designed for high volume production applications and can automatically move and process titanium parts into and out of an inert atmosphere, the company said. It allows for continuous operation without the need for manual loading into and out of the controlled environment work area. For additive repair applications, such as production turbine blade restoration, the HC-TBR includes an integrated vision system using software that scans each part individually and uses pattern recognition to create a custom tool path and additive repair recipe. The HC-TBR can be integrated into automated work cells and includes automatic antechamber doors which can be loaded and unloaded robotically, Optomec said.

This story uses material from Optomec, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.