Metal Additive Manufacturing

EOSINT M 280, an additive manufacturing systems for metals.

Article From: 1/11/2011 MoldMaking Technology

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EOS, world-leading manufacturer of laser sinter systems, offers the EOSINT M 280, an additive manufacturing systems for metals. According to the company, this system sets new standards in terms of part quality and reproducibility, at the same time improving cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness. The EOSINT M 280 adopts all features and advantages of the well-established EOSINT M 270 system, and makes it even more attractive for a wide range of demanding applications including tooling and series production.

EOS pioneered direct additive manufacturing of metals in 1995 with the introduction of the EOSINT M 250 system. Since then EOS has continuously updated and developed this product line. The EOSINT M 270 is by far the top-selling metal additive manufacturing system and has gained a strong reputation for producing best quality parts. To date EOS has sold about 270 metal systems. Numerous users are already using the EOSINT M 270 for series production in a variety of fields, including medical products and tooling. Many other users are actively qualifying the technology for their production. Based on feedback from many of these customers, as well as its own innovative ideas, EOS has further developed the technology with its EOSINT M 280.

400 Watt laser for increased build speed and productivity. The new system EOSINT M 280 is available with either the same 200 Watt fibre laser, which was pioneered by EOS with the EOSINT M 270, or a 400 Watt fibre laser option. This higher-power laser can melt more metal powder per second, thus achieving shorter build times and higher system productivity. For example, an injection moulding core will be displayed at EuroMold that was built in less than half the time compared to the EOSINT M 270.

Especially for heavy use in a manufacturing environment, the newest system enables significantly reduced costs-per-part, thereby increasing the competitiveness of laser-sintering compared to other technologies and opening up new viable application areas.

Increased build height expands applications range. Another improvement of the EOSINT M 280 compared to its predecessor is the increase of the maximum building height up to 325 mm. This enables taller parts to be placed in the process chamber, again expanding the application areas. This is particularly interesting for hybrid part building, a concept that EOS introduced in the 1990s for prototype tooling. In the hybrid process, complex parts are produced by building additional material on top of a prefabricated part.

Optimized gas management: robust process for increased reproducibility
Based on extensive process investigations and supported by fluid dynamics simulations, EOS has optimized the gas management system of the EOSINT M 280. A high-velocity laminar flow of protective gas across the entire build area, combined with the high-capacity recirculating filter system, ensures even more uniform process conditions. As a result, stable melting behaviour is ensured even over long periods of time and with higher laser power. This results in further improved reproducibility of the part properties. The system therefore offers an excellent platform for further material and process developments. It also supports processes both under nitrogen gas atmosphere, created by compressed air via an integrated nitrogen generator, as well as under argon gas. Moreover, further improvements in the gas management system enable a reduction of the gas consumption and a prolonged filter lifetime, which heightens the cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness of the system.

Part Property Management based on thorough process development. Based on intensive process and application developments, EOS has established high standards in recent years. The new EOSINT M 280 builds on the Part Property Management concept, which was introduced at last year’s EuroMold and emphasizes the quality leadership of EOS. It enables standardisation and comparability of building processes, based on the so-called Part Property Profiles (PPP). By ensuring a consistent quality assurance along the entire process chain, EOS enables machine users to reliably produce parts based on defined material and part properties.

The EOSINT M 280 supports all the materials of its predecessor, with the same or with optimized parameter sets. Currently, EOS offers ten series materials, including the most recent EOS NickelAlloy IN625. For the 400 Watt option new, faster parameter sets with corresponding Part Property Profiles will be introduced. Customers can either use the pre-qualified EOS parameter sets or develop and modify their own.

Further system improvements. As with previous models, the newest system configuration can be adapted to different customer needs through a variety of options and accessories. Laser Power Monitoring (LPM) monitors the laser power during the building process and reports the compliance with the specifications or warns of any deviations. With the base module of the EOSTATE 1.2 software the machine status can be monitored. Additional EOSTATE modules, Quality Assurance, Controlling and MPM (Machine Park Management), are also available. These allow a statistical overview of the built jobs and parts over freely selectable periods of time. Integrated Process Chain Management (IPCM) modules offer optimized powder and part handling, thus ensuring increased productivity, quality and usability. These can be added at any time. In addition, EOS plans to introduce an optional glove box to enable the parts to be freed from powder inside a closed process chamber environment.

 

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