FH Aachen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are to present a new, low-cost SLM unit for the first time at formnext in Frankfurt am Main from November 15-18, 2016. Developed jointly with the GoetheLab at FH Aachen, the unit is intended primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises for whom expensive selective laser melting technology is not yet economically viable because of the high level of investment required.
For major corporations, it is easy to make the move into additive manufacturing: they can hire specialists, invest in new and expensive plant, or establish new corporate divisions. German industry, however, is largely characterized by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Recent studies by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy show that there is often still insufficient awareness among SMEs of the potential of additive manufacturing and the opportunities it offers. To some extent, training in it even fails to address the needs of SMEs.
Picture 1: Debut at formnext 2016: the new, low-cost SLM unit for 3D printing of stainless steel components is particularly suitable for entry-level users.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Smoother access to 3D printing
This is where the Aachen Center for 3D Printing comes in. It was established by FH Aachen in conjunction with Fraunhofer ILT in 2014. “Our group of experts works closely together to give medium-sized companies access to 3D printing,” says the center’s director, Prof. Gebhardt. The new center offers companies additive manufacturing training courses, advice, and services covering component design, manufacturing, and finishing processes.
With SMEs also keen to utilize new technology as they seek to develop in-house expertise, a collaborative project has developed a low-cost unit for selective laser melting (SLM). Employing a Cartesian coordinate system, this first functional prototype uses a 140 W laser diode with a focus diameter of 250 µm to produce complex metal components with a maximum height of 90 mm and a maximum
Ideal for entry-level users
A unit with a comparable installation space costs at least 100,000 euros, according to Dawid Ziebura, a project engineer at Fraunhofer ILT. He thinks the low-cost SLM unit will have a price tag of 30,000 euros. Factors in its favor are that entry-level users need only a few hours to learn how to operate it, and that it is easy to use. All of the components in the unit allow users to maintain the unit themselves, and are easy to replace. “The low-cost unit makes it easy for entry-level users getting into 3D printing of metal components,” Ziebura says.
The components that the unit can produce are suitable for many typical SLM applications, ranging from prototypes and sample parts to functional components. Users themselves decide the speed and the production quality at which the unit operates. It can, for instance, produce a medium-sized (55 cm³), stainless steel part (grade 1.4404) at a density of more than 99.5% within 12 hours. In addition, the unit offers the option of producing lattice structures for large-volume areas in order to shorten the construction time of less stressed areas. Selecting a lattice density of 20% (corresponding to 20% of the original volume) reduces construction time by 60%. The engineers in Aachen now want to shorten process times and optimize exposure strategies in order to improve component quality. What is more, they are planning to 3D print components made of aluminum alloys and tool steel.
Demonstration at formnext 2016
At formnext in Frankfurt am Main from November 15-18, 2016, prospective buyers can visit the Fraunhofer booth to see the new, low-cost SLM unit in action: Hall 3.1, Booth E60.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Gebhardt
Aachen Center for 3D Printing
FH Aachen, University of Applied Sciences
Phone +49 241 6009 52500
FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences
52064 Aachen, Germany
M. Eng. Dawid Ziebura
Rapid Manufacturing Group
Phone +49 241 8906-8172
Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Sebastian Bremen
Rapid Manufacturing Group
Phone +49 241 8906-537
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT,
52074 Aachen, Germany
Petra Nolis | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION 2018 in Switzerland focuses on building blocks for industrial digitalization
20.11.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
Medica 2017: New software enables early diagnosis of arteriosclerosis
06.11.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses