How to Improve the Stability of Large Size Selective Laser Melting Equipment

Author: Radium laser



Nowadays, metal additive manufacturing technology, especially the mainstreamSelective Laser Melting Technology(SLM) has been widely used in aerospace, high-end equipment, ships, energy, automobiles, molds and other high-end manufacturing fields. With the gradual recognition of SLM processing parts technology in all walks of life, there is more and more demand for SLM additive manufacturing applications such as large format and high depth. In order to meet the processing needs of large-size parts, Radium Laser has developed and mass produced many series of equipment in recent years, including LiM-X400H, LiM-X650 series, LiM-X650H, LiM-X800 and subsequent larger-size equipment.


LiM-X650H forming size: 650mm × 650mm × 1680mm

No matter how advanced a device is, how comprehensive its functions are, and how advanced its accuracy is, if it fails frequently and reliably and cannot work stably within the specified time, its use value is not high and its economic effect is not good. Therefore, SLM equipment in the realization of large-size, high-efficiency processing at the same time, how to ensure the stability and reliability of the long-term equipment, is the user is very concerned about the place, but also radium laser as the primary responsibility of the product provider.

For SLM technology, the research and development of large equipment is not a simple lengthening and widening of geometric dimensions, but involves many difficult problems such as multi-beam collaborative manufacturing, high-precision and reliable operation of mechanical structure, automatic control of powder feeding, powder spreading and powder recovery, uniform wind field and environmental stability control, and long-term continuous production guarantee. So how does the radium laser solve these difficult problems? The following is a detailed introduction by the small radium.

On the accuracy and stability of the optical part

Radium laser uses internationally renowned brands IPG, Scanlab, Sill and other optical components to achieve low loss, high precision and high stability of the optical system. At the same time, a proprietary optical test platform is built to realize the long-term continuous operation test of 4 lasers, 6 lasers, 8 lasers, 10 lasers and above optical modules of the equipment. Finally, the optical overlap area has excellent quality performance, the mechanical properties are not less than 95% of the average value of the single laser area, and the consistency difference of the full-width mechanical properties is not more than 5%.


On the Precision and Stability of Mechanical Structures

The forming shaft of the equipment adopts high-precision THK guide rail and grating ruler to make the positioning accuracy reach 0.005mm, and the forming accuracy is controlled within ± 0.1mm. For high depth equipment, the forming shaft structure also adopts the patent-gantry double drive structure independently developed by our company, which not only ensures the high precision and high reliability of operation, but also achieves many effects such as reducing the overall height of the equipment and reducing the operating cost of the equipment. At the connection of the forming cylinder of the equipment, the "zero-point positioning chuck" is used for Z-axis transmission and piston separation, which realizes quick removal and precise reset of the cylinder body, thus realizing multi-station and multi-way flexible picking.


About Powder Automation and Seal Control

For large-size forming equipment, a full-automatic powder circulation system is configured, which realizes fully enclosed automatic operations such as metal powder addition, screening, recovery, drying, powder feeding, etc., and adopts dense phase powder conveying technology, and the conveying efficiency reaches more than 10L/min. The use of valve-type quantitative powder drop structure, double-layer felt sealing structure, independent powder cleaning equipment and other ways, multi-way simultaneous, comprehensive and effective to improve the efficiency of powder utilization.


Measures for Wind Field and Environmental Stability

According to the actual working conditions of each different equipment, the wind field test tooling is built, the simulation calculation is carried out, the optimization of the wind field environment is realized, and after long-term printing verification, the uniformity and stability of the large-format wind field are repeatedly tested, and the consistency of printing quality is realized. For larger-format equipment, the problem of uneven wind field is effectively solved by controlling the bottom airflow of the wind direction and establishing the upper airflow of the wind curtain.


On long period stable operation of equipment

The equipment is equipped with a permanent filter, and the life of the filter element exceeds 50000 hours without replacing the filter element, ensuring the continuous stability of the printing process. The cabin pressure stability control module and inert gas replacement module can maintain the equipment at 100ppm oxygen content and stable pressure for a long time. In addition, the equipped powder bed monitoring module uses high-definition cameras to monitor the quality of each layer of powder spreading and sintering, and various measures such as automatic powder replenishment for abnormal powder spreading ensure the long-term stable operation of the equipment.


Technical improvement is only one dimension of equipment stability. To truly ensure the durability and reliability of equipment, every link from design planning, manufacturing and installation, inspection and maintenance to use and maintenance is crucial. The specific content, we will share in the next issue, I am small radium, pay attention to me, more technology sharing welcome everyone to participate.

Selective laser melting equipment, 3D printing equipment

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