German additive manufacturing system specialist, EOS, has launched the new EOS M 290 with a build volume of 250 mm x 250 mm x 325 mm to succeed the M 280 for production of components from successive layers of metal powder fused by laser.
Dr Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer at EOS said, “The system sets new standards and offers extensive quality management features as well as expanded monitoring capabilities.
“It is designed to serve the requirements of customers that require serial production capability. At the same time, we have created new optimisation potential in terms of build quality for customers that require a prototyping facility.”
Despite all the innovations that have been incorporated into the new system, the key elements of its predecessor have been retained, including process chamber, gas stream and process parameters. It ensures consistent behaviour and component quality across the two platforms.
Additionally, the EOS M 290 offers extensive monitoring functions both for the system itself and the build process, adding even more extensive quality assurance to the field of additive manufacturing. In particular, it makes the system attractive for industrial applications in the aerospace industry as well for medical applications.
With the aid of EOSTATE PowderBed, a camera built into the process chamber monitors powder deposition and exposure to the laser beam by means of still images. EOSTATE Base ensures consistent monitoring of a range of parameters, including the position of the laser scanner in the Z-axis, air humidity, temperature and pressure. Finally, EOSTATE LaserMonitoring measures the laser power throughout the entire build period.
The EOS M 290 is equipped with a 400 Watt laser, which is characterised by its high radiation quality and stability of performance. The system can be operated under an inert nitrogen atmosphere or under argon, which allows processing of a large variety of materials. These include light alloys, stainless and tool grade steels, and superalloys.
EOS parameter sets ensure that parts can be manufactured with standardised property profiles, resulting in a broad spectrum of applications. As for the previous model, users of the latest machine are supplied with EOS ParameterEditor to allow them to modify a range of exposure parameters for themselves.
The tool enables customers to develop their own parameters for specific applications on the basis of the EOS parameter sets. Adjustments can be made to laser power and exposure speed or strategy. A new version of the Parameter Editor is currently under development, which will also allow modification of layer thickness, inert gas stream, build platform temperature and skip layers.
The EOS M 290 has been rendered even more user friendly thanks to the new EOSYSTEM machine software, which allows intuitive and task-oriented operation of the system via a graphical user interface, which was developed especially for production environments. In addition, an operator assistant is included which guides the user through the program.
The new EOSPRINT Desktop Software allows jobs to be prepared and computed offline, separately from the build process. The job file can then be transferred through a network to the system, which can concentrate fully on building the part. Complex parts with large job files are processed quickly, which in turn improves the flexibility of the application development process.
Process gas management has also been optimised. The EOS M 290 is fitted with an air circulation filter with an automatic self-cleaning function. This considerably increases the filter’s operating life, so replacement is less frequent and costs are reduced.
Image: Optimised titanium nacelle hinge bracket built in an EOS M 290 (Source: Airbus Group Innovations).