Highly complex components which cannot be made by conventional methods can be produced tool-less by additive manufacturing, e.g. undercuttings and grid structures.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) uses a laser which melts the polymer powder point to point. The device is built up by a layer by layer coating of thin powder layers on a powder platform following a laser induced fusing process. This procedure is repeated until a 3D device is produced. The unfused powder of each layer is used as support material and can be removed easily.
Selective Laser Sintering is a useful method for producing devices with a high mechanical load capacity and complex structures without using supports.
The HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) process uses infrared radiation for fusing the polymer powder layer by layer. The whole layer is irradiated by a planar infrared heater and not local with a laser point by point. For this reason, it is necessary to add infrared absorbing ink on the parts of the layer which shall be fused. An important advantage is that the building time doesn’t depends on the number of devices and the two-dimensional size (x,y). Only the height of the object (z) is important for the building time.
A “Processing Station”, which relates to the printing system, is used for the whole powder management, which includes removing the unfused powder and refilling the printing unit. The maximal amount on recycled powder (powder, which was used in the printing unit) can reach 85%. The conditioning of the powder works automatically with integrated filter systems. This ensures a nearly complete conversion of powder in devices.
The HP Multi Jet Fusion technology leads to lower costs and shorter building times compared to other powder-based applications. The devices have a high mechanical load capacity.
The ARBURG Plastics Freeforming (APF) is based on the extrusion of chains of polymer droplets. Characteristic for this application is the printing with standard granules, which are normally used in injection molding or extrusion processes. The granulate is plastified with an extrusion unit and the droplets are produced by using a piezo-electric nozzle-pin combination. The freeformer has a very high resolution by extruding a well-defined dose of droplets.
The usage of standard granules leads to a high variety of materials. The freeformer has two extrusion units which enables the producing of support structures or two component devices.
The Fused-Filament-Fabrication (FFF) uses polymer filaments as raw material. The filament is melted with an extrusion unit and each layer of the device is placed on the building platform by moving the extrusion unit. After placing a whole layer, the distance between the extrusion unit and the printing bed is increased about the layer thickness. This is repeated until the whole device is built up. With a dual extruder system (2 extrusion units) it is possible to produce devices consisting of different materials or built complex structures with a water soluble support structure.
For Selective Laser Beam Melting we provide one Mlab cusing R-machine by CONCEPT Laser. With this technology, it is possible to create components additively (layer by layer) within a volume of 250 x 250 x 170 mm made of a large range of alloys.
Furthermore we develop innovative processes, which especially allow the manufacturing of relatively large parts. The basic approach of our in-house developed technique called Plate Press Brazing is to use metal sheets to produce layered structures. That allows high layer building rates, a dense and robust structure of the components and relatively fast and a cost efficient manufacturing process.
Both techniques are used for research and development on one hand but also for contract manufacturing of prototypes, pilot production and mini-series.
- Development of high-performance processes
- Materials development for powder and extrusion based techniques
- Functionalization of injection molding and composite components
- Contract manufacturing of functionalized prototypes
- Mechanical characterization of additive manufactured components