Metal AM System's Four Lasers Increase Productivity

To improve additive manufacturing productivity and lower cost per part, Renishaw has launched the RenAM 500Q.

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To improve additive manufacturing (AM) productivity and reduce cost per part, Renishaw has launched the RenAM 500Q. Featuring four 500-W lasers, the machine is designed to improve productivity in the most commonly-used platform size, bringing the benefits of AM to a wider range of industries.

The system can speed the process by as much as four times, making metal AM economical for more applications, according to the company. The productivity benefits reduce cost per part without compromising the precision or quality of a standard single-laser system.

At the center of the AM system is the optical system and control software. Laser beams enter the system via four channels, where they are dynamically focused and directed into a single, thermally-controlled galvanometer mounting. The galvo mounting houses four pairs of digitally-controlled guided mirrors, which can guide lasers to cover the entire working area of the powder bed, improving speed, productivity and capability. The optical system is additively manufactured, enabling tighter packaging of mirrors and the incorporation of internal conformal cooling channels to maintain thermal stability.

A stable process environment manages the additional process emissions caused by multiple lasers. An inert gas recirculation system, including a cyclone pre-filter and gas intercooler, are designed to preserve filter life and provide consistently clean processing conditions during the build.

The system’s dual SafeChange filters with automated change-over minimize manual intervention and increase safety and usability. The company says this also maintains powder condition for maximum reuse, further reducing part costs.