Modern Machine Shop
Renishaw's laser-melting additive manufacturing process is capable of producing fully dense metal parts directly from 3D CAD files using a high-powered fiber laser. Parts are built layer by layer, in thicknesses ranging from 20 to 100 microns, using a variety of fine metal powders that are melted in a controlled atmosphere. The company’s additive-metal systems can process a variety of materials, including 316L and 17-4PH SS, H13 tool steel, aluminum Al-Si-12, titanium CP, Ti-6Al-4V and 7Nb, cobalt-chrome (ASTM75), and Inconel 718 and 625.
Two systems are available, the AM125 and the AM250, both of which feature vacuum technology and low gas consumption. They are equipped with a soft re-coater blade that can be rotated several times before replacement and use low-cost filter elements. The systems feature a heated build plate and a gas knife for clearing reactive, sooty emissions to ensure the safe processing of reactive materials such as titanium and aluminum. Both systems are designed for rapid material changeover, with the AM125 utilizing a cassette-type materials delivery system and the AM250 a removable hopper.
The AM125 provides a part-build volume of 125 × 125 × 125 mm (X-Y-Z), and the AM250 provides 250 × 250 × 300 mm (X-Y-Z) with the Z axis extendable to 360 mm. Both have build rates ranging from 5 to 20 cm3 per hour, depending on the material, part density and geometry. The AM125 offers a choice of 100 or 200 W laser, and the AM250 a 200 or 400 W laser. A valve interlock on the AM250 enables extra powder to be added while the process is running. All file preparation is completed off-line through a choice of either Marcam Autofab software or Materialise Magics.