AM for the Millions

With nearly one million diode lasers melting the material, the build process is so productive that it can serve as an injection molding alternative for many applications. (Source: EOS)

EOS continues to drive the industrialization of additive manufacturing (AM) and presented its newest solutions at this year’s Formnext fair yesterday. With LaserProFusion, the company introduces a revolutionary technology for polymer additive manufacturing: With nearly one million diode lasers melting the material, building up the part layer by layer, this build process is so productive that it can serve as an injection molding alternative for many applications. Furthermore, the latest EOS M 300-4 system is shown as foundation of a production cell for serial additive manufacturing with metal materials.

In addition, the company introduces technology readiness level (TRL) in both the field of metals and polymers, which will provide additional clarity on the maturity of materials and processes. For easy orientation, its material products will be divided into two categories: TRL 3 – 6 refers to core products, whereas premium products are in the categories TRL 7 – 9 and therefore suitable for use in serial manufacturing.

EOS showcases new polymer technology and metal 3D printing production cell. Left: CEO Adrian Käppler, right: CTO Tobias Abeln (Source: PhotonicsViews)

With its new LaserProFusion technology, EOS will showcase innovation designed to achieve maximum productivity. As a pioneer with nearly thirty years of experience in additive manufacturing, the company is continuously optimizing the interaction between powder material and laser, which is destined for industrial applications. Instead of the laser sintering process used to date with a single CO2-laser moving along the entire build area, this new technology uses up to one million lasers. These can achieve a maximum total output of up to five kilowatts. For each layer, only the diode lasers are activated that match the CAD data of the part – right down to the exact pixel. The new technology significantly shortens exposure times, regardless of the number of parts and their geometry.

Dr. Tobias Abeln, chief technical officer at EOS says: “With the LaserProFusion technology, we are achieving a new level of productivity in polymer industrial 3D printing for serial manufacturing. It is a technology that can be an alternative to injection molding in many applications, respectively enables tool-free injection molding. This will make industrial 3D printing attractive for a completely new market in the future.”

At Formnext, the comapny is showcasing the interaction of its software and hardware solutions in form of a production cell for metal industrial 3D printing. It integrates all the essential solutions for an optimal flow of parts and data throughout every step in production with AM – including design, the AM build process, and quality assurance. EOS thus meets the strict requirements for an AM serial production and is capable of supplying companies with a complete range of solutions from one single source.

Prior to the AM build process, Amphyon software from Additive Works simulates the part production, highlighting and optimizing potentially problematic areas of the part at an early stage. The intuitive, open and productive CAM tool Eosprint 2. Both solutions empower users to effectively prepare their part data for the build process. An, additional advantage is that the Eosprint 2 algorithms can be integrated directly into leading CAD systems. This allows an uninterrupted and associatively linked workflow in a consistent software environment.

The EOS M 300-4, latest system for the digital, industrial additive manufacturing of metal materials forms the core of the production cell on display. The system offers up to ten times higher productivity while manufacturing parts to industrial-grade quality. (Source: EOS)

Link: Formnext Microsite, EOS gmbH, Krailing near Munich, Germany

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