1 November 2016

Fast and Flexible Printing of Complex Metal Parts

TRUMPF is the world’s only manufacturer to have in its product range both laser metal deposition (LMD) – a process it introduced more than 15 years ago – and laser metal fusion (LMF).  Both use laser and metallic powder to build any desired component, based on data supplied directly by the CAD programme. 

In LMF, the technology employed by the new TruPrint 1000 system, the component is created layer by layer, from a bed of fine powder.  It is ideal for parts that are complex in their geometry, such as those with internal channels and hollow spaces and for the economical manufacture of individual parts or short production runs.

The compact TruPrint 1000 is suitable both for novices and those experienced in using this technology.  It can generate parts that are a maximum of 100mm in diameter and 100mm tall.  The user interface, optimised for simplified touch screen control, steers the operator through the individual phases of the process intuitively. 

All the components – the laser, optics, process enclosure, filter unit and control unit are integrated into the systems compact housing.  The component-growing process takes place in the process enclosure where the supply cylinder, construction chamber and overflow receiver are aligned.

The supply cylinder provides capacity for up to 1.4 litres of stainless steel, tool steel, aluminium or another weldable material in powdered form.  For the coating process, powder is transferred to the construction chamber where the 200W laser fuses the first layer of powder, corresponding to the profile of the part.

On completion the chamber is lowered and any powder excess caught by the overflow receiver.  The coating process is then repeated until the part is finished. At every return of the supply cylinder, the coating mechanism is tilted slightly allowing it to retract relatively quickly to avoid collision with the powder bed or the part being generated.

To prevent oxide formation or any fire risk, the entire process takes place inside the enclosure, blanketed by protective gas with an oxygen content of just 0.1 percent.

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