Additive manufacturing

Calm process control - homogeneous, crack-free material layers -  optimal efficiency

The process

The main tool of additive manufacturing is a movable print head, which mostly contains a laser, a metal powder nozzle or a wire guide. This print head is moved over a building platform, where it adds the metal powder or the wire, and then melts it with the help of the laser beam. By cooling the material and cladding the next material layer, the required component is created step by step and strictly in accordance with the proviso of the three-dimensional construction plan. Finally, the technical principle corresponds to laser cladding.  With the sole difference of three-dimensional forms beeing created.

The process advantages of the diode lasers

The top-hat beam profiles of Laserline's diode lasers create very even molten pools and allow for a calm process control that leads to homogeneous, crack-free material layers. 

Application examples

Additive manufacturing with wire feeder

Additive manufacturing is a comparably young production method, in which a component is constructed via layer-by-layer material coating. Originally developed for prototyping, today it is mainly used when geometrically complex components in small batch sizes between 1 and 1,000 are to be produced. Here, additive manufacturing is for the most part more economical than conventional methods.

Laser integration into machine tool

A promising approach to optimize production processes  is the integration of laser beam sources into machine tools. So, Laserline's LDM diode lasers have been, for example, integrated in a five-axis milling machine, where they make a switch between additive and subtractive processing possible: i.e. the laser realizes the powder coating, while the milling head realizes the machining.

Source: HG Laser

Multiply combined applications

The various application possibilities of Laserline's diode lasers in additive manufacturing also offer other options that go far above the interplay between additive powder coating and subtractive machining. For example, the lasers can be integrated into a twelve-axis milling machine and can be used, besides powder cladding, for welding and hardening. For this, besides the laser and powder nozzle, corresponding optics are implemented, between which you can switch back and forth depending on the processing operation. As a result, complex production processes, based on a single beam source, can be realized.