Industrial Laser Services has released Concept laser’s new M2 machine, which utilises the latest in direct component manufacturing technology.
This new model allows reactive powder materials such as aluminium alloys and titanium alloys to be used in the tool-less, layer-by-layer manufacturing method that has been successfully employed in Europe and Japan for the past two years on non-reactive materials (stainless and tool steels).
The process is a further development of stereolithography and laser sintering, in which a laser beam (in this case a 200w fibre laser) fuses metallic powder layer by layer to create fully functional metal components that closely match the properties of machined or die cast components.
Finished component accuracies are typically + 0.02mm with material densities >99.5%
This process suits parts that are either:
- Complex in design
- Difficult or impossible to make by machining or casting
Industries that are likely to use this new technology are:
- Automotive (for functional prototypes)
The new M2 machine represents a technology break-through as it overcomes the inherent characteristic of these reactive powdered materials to combine with oxygen, both in storage and in-process, by providing an inert atmosphere for both. The result is a safe and reliable process operating at room temperature.