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Fraunhofer ILT Presents Low Cost SLM System

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Fraunhofer ILT Presents Low Cost SLM System
Fraunhofer ILT Presents Low Cost SLM System

Video: Fraunhofer ILT Presents Low Cost SLM System

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Top brand companies find it easy to get started in additive manufacturing. You can hire experts, invest in new, expensive plant technology or set up new business areas. However, because SMEs also like to use new technologies to build up operational know-how, a project created a low-cost system for laser beam melting (SLM: Selective Laser Melting). In this first demonstrator, a 140 W diode laser (focus diameter of 250 µm) in combination with a Cartesian axis system produces complex functional components made of metal with a maximum height of 90 mm and a maximum diameter of 80 mm. The system requires a footprint of 1.3 m * 0.8 m * 1.4 m.

A comparable system in terms of installation space costs at least € 100,000 according to the Fraunhofer ILT, while the low-cost SLM system is expected to cost € 30,000 later. Advantages of the system are that a beginner can quickly learn to use it within a few hours and that it is easy to use. All components used enable self-service and are easy to replace.

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The components that can be manufactured with it are suitable for many typical SLM applications, from prototypes and sample parts to functional components. The user can decide how fast and high-quality the system works. For example, it can build a medium-sized component (55 cm³) made of stainless steel 1.4404 with more than 99.5% density within 12 hours. In addition, the system offers the option of filling large-volume component areas with lattice structures in order to shorten the construction time in less stressed areas. With a chosen grid density of 20% (corresponds to 20% of the original volume), the construction time can be reduced by about 60%. The Aacheners now want to reduce the process time and optimize the exposure strategies in order to improve the component quality.3D printing of components made of aluminum alloys and tool steel is also planned. (qui)

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