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Press release detail page | TRUMPF

Additive Manufacturing - TRUMPF at the Pro-AM 2018

Singapore, 30.05.2018 - The Pro-AM Conference was held in Singapore from 14 to 17 May 2018, presenting the latest commercial and scientific progress in Additive Manufacturing. TRUMPF participated at the conference informing visitors about technologies and applications in 3D metal printing.

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are technologies that are both constantly advancing. The fields of application go far beyond just the manufacturing industry: 3D printing is used to create electronics and metal components for machinery or even for bioprinting, where lasers can be used to print tissue. The event overall saw a congregation of 3D printing users coming together to learn and share about the knowledge acquired from each of their respective fields and also gaining an in-depth understanding of the challenges for the current and potential applications for the technology.

TRUMPF displayed its solutions for 3D printing of metal components at the conference. With TRUMPF 3D printers, metal components can be created just by using metal powder and laser light. On the basis of a 3D model, a laser melts on the metal powder and solidifies it layer by layer to produce a high-quality workpiece. This method enables the production of geometrically complex objects and allows to freely design any desired shapes.  

When it comes to additive manufacturing there exist two different methods: Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Laser Metal Fusion (LMF). TRUMPF is the only manufacturer in the world to offer both from a single source. But what exactly is the difference between laser metal fusion and laser metal deposition?

Laser metal deposition

Laser metal deposition is also referred to as LMD, direct energy deposition, or laser cladding. The process is quite simple: The laser first generates a weld pool on the component surface. A nozzle then automatically adds metal powder. This creates beads that are welded to one another, which then form structures on existing base bodies or entire components.

Laser metal deposition can be used for coating and repair purposes, to generate entire components, and for joining processes such as bridging gaps. In the field of additive manufacturing, it is also ideal for generating entire components and combining different manufacturing methods. As such, a conventionally cast or formed base body can be offered in a range of versions cost-effectively by using the additive method. LMD can also be combined with laser welding and cutting.

Benefits of LMD are the high build-up rates and therefore, the process speed in comparison to other generative processes. Several powder containers can be used in the process, which enables the development of custom alloys to suit individual requirements. Sandwich structures can be created by combining different materials. There is a wide range of materials in powder form to choose from, including steels, base alloys made from nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), aluminum (Al), copper (Cu), and titanium (Ti), as well as WC or TiC embedded in metal matrixes. Generative laser metal deposition is used in industries including aviation and aerospace, energy, petrochemicals, automotive, and medical technology.

Laser metal fusion

Laser metal fusion is often referred to as metal 3D printing, powder bed fusion, or selective laser melting. The laser builds up the workpiece from a powder bed, layer by layer. A CAD model provides the plan for doing so, and no tools are required. The powder is added to a build platform. Here, the laser beam accurately melts on the powder according to the CAD data and joins defined points to the layer underneath. The laser then repeats this process until the metal part is finished. The workpiece has the same properties as the metal powder which was used. A large variety of metal materials in powder form can be used, such as steel, aluminum, and titanium.

The components produced using this method meet stringent material requirements for demanding applications. As a result of the components' stability and low weight, the method is ideal for lightweight designs and bionic structures, such as those found in the aviation and aerospace, automotive, and medical technology sectors.

As a supplement to conventional production methods, the LMF method offers a number of advantages. There are virtually no limits on the design freedom, which enables complex forms and custom components to be produced quickly, cost-effectively, and with flexibility. When conventional production methods reach their limits, LMF can provide the answer. It enables cost-effective production, even for small lot sizes.

TruPrint 1000 and sample parts produced

TruPrint 1000

The TruPrint 1000 offers you all the benefits of additive manufacturing. It can be used to create components in almost any geometric shape. Even complex shapes can be quickly and easily converted from the CAD design to a 3D metallic component – and with top quality. You can use the TruPrint 1000 for the generative production of small industrial single parts and series. With the multilaser option, you can also achieve an increase in productivity of up to 80% and the utmost flexibility when processing customer orders.

Find out more

Acetabular Cup for total hip replacement

  • Medical manufacturing enables porous and lattice structures
  • Porous surface encourages bone ingrowth and imporoves longterm implant stability
  • Maximum customizabiity of the acetabular cups for the patient
  • Material: Titanium
  • Build time: 4.3h
  • Weight: 49g

Aerospace Bracket for lightweight application

  • Mounting bracket for fixing of components
  • Lightweight structure by topology optimized design: material accumulation exclusively along load paths
  • Much less waste of material compared to subtractive manufacturing
  • Material: Titanium
  • Build time: 7.7h
  • Weight: 64g

Dental Build Job - Crowns and bridges for dental healthcare

  • More cost-effective than milling and casting
  • Few post processing expenses fue to roughness that supports adhesion of applied layers
  • Multilaser: Time saving up to 80% compared to a production with just a single laser source
  • Material: Cobaltchrome
  • Build time: 5.3h
  • Weight: 96g

Cylindrical Grinding Nozzle for improved grinding efficiency

  • Optimized AM design for
    •  A minimum of needed support
    •  32% material and weight reduction
    • 20% reduction of pressure losses
  • Optimized cooling channel geometry lead to a reduced use of cooling lubricant and to less grinding tool attrition
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Build time: 7.5h
  • Weight: 31g

Planetary Gear

  • Fully functional planetary gear manufactured in one piece
  • Explicitly designed for Additive Manufacturing
  • Inlaying bearing / guiding
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Build time: 1.5h
  • Weight: 15g

Heat Exchanger with lattice structures

  • Filigree lattice structures or maximum heat dissipation
  • Highly complex design by cooling channels embedded inside lattice structures
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Build time: 13.1h
  • Weight: 156g
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