Renishaw additive manufacturing systems allow processing of reactive materials, including Ti and Al.
Renishaw unveiled its AM125 and the AM250 laser melting additive-metal manufacturing systems, capable of producing fully dense metal parts direct from 3D CAD data using a high-powered fiber laser. Parts are built layer by layer, in thicknesses ranging from 20 to 100 microns, using a range of fine metal powders that are fully melted in a tightly controlled atmosphere.
The current range of machines utilizes a third-generation design representing state-of-the-art manufacturing technology. Key features include variable powder delivery, ultra low oxygen content in the build atmosphere, and a safe-change filter system to minimize user contact with materials.
According to the company, the systems process a wide variety of materials, including 316L and 17-4PH SS, H13 tool steel, aluminum Al-Si-12, titanium CP, Ti-6Al-4V and 7Nb, cobalt-chrome (ASTM75), and Inconel 718 and 625. Both systems are designed for rapid material changeover, with the AM125 utilizing a cassette type materials delivery system and the AM250 a removable hopper.
In addition, a valve interlock on the AM250 allows addition of extra powder while the process is running. Safe processing of reactive materials, such as titanium and aluminum, is ensured with features such as a gas knife that clears away reactive, sooty emissions, and a heated build plate.
The AM125 provides a part-build volume of 125 x 125 x 125 mm (X-Y-Z), and the AM250 provides 250 x 250 x 300 mm (X-Y-Z) with Z axis extendable to 360 mm. Both have build rates of 5 to 20 cm3 per hour, dependent on the material, part density and geometry. The AM125 offers a choice of 100 or 200 W laser, and the AM250 a 200 or 400 W laser.
Both the new machines feature a fully welded vacuum chamber, enabling low-pressure evacuation followed by a recharge with high purity argon gas. Gas consumption, after the initial chamber flood, is low, and allows operation at oxygen concentrations below 50 parts per million.