Laser manufacturer TRUMPF has established a broad base in the field of additive manufacturing. The company will be presenting new 3D printing machines for metal parts at the Formnext trade fair, to be held in Frankfurt this year from November 17 to 20. Both laser metal fusion (LMF) and laser metal deposition (LMD) machines will be on display. Both of these crucial metalworking technologies are included in the new TRUMPF product range. To achieve this, the company has established a new division at the headquarters site in Ditzingen and has been working even more intensively on new systems for 3D printing. The results and developments derived from the joint venture founded together with Italy’s largest laser system maker, the Sisma company, have supported the efforts carried out by TRUMPF in Ditzingen. The technology behind the new 3D printers is also known as additive manufacturing. In this process component parts are generated, layer by layer, from metal powders. The system uses data taken directly from the CAD program.
“The introduction of these new 3D printers is an essential first step, since additive manufacturing will not only supplement production techniques in the future, but will also exert a formative influence on them,” explains Dr.-Ing. E.h. Peter Leibinger, Head of TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH. “We will be offering rugged and highly productive machinery with which small and medium-sized parts incorporating complex structures can be manufactured,” Leibinger adds.
Every technology skill in a single location
Market demand is growing for 3D printers generating metal components suitable for use in the industrial environment. TRUMPF is the world’s only manufacturer to have both of the pertinent technologies – LMF and LMD – in its product range. The choice of the process best suited will depend on the details of the specific application. LMF systems generate parts layer by layer in a bed of powder. These printers bring their strengths to bear when making up parts which are geometrically complicated and extremely elaborate. In LMD systems, the laser creates a melted pool on the surface of a part and fuses the powder, added simultaneously in a powder stream, to achieve the desired shape. LMD systems are distinguished by the fact that they can add closely defined structures to existing tools and components, doing so at high processing speed.
“LMF and LMD are the two leading technologies in the additive manufacture of metal parts – and we have them both,” states Peter Leibinger. He then adds: “Our customers procure not only the machine and the laser from a single source but – in addition to extensive service support – intensive technology and applications consulting, too. No matter whether you are dealing with injection nozzles, turbine blades, tools or even medical implants – with our broad range of technology we are offering the best solution for virtually every application.”