In the traditional machining industry, there is a term called linkage machining. Among them, the machining efficiency of the five-axis CNC machine tool is equivalent to two three-axis machine tools, and the workpiece can be processed at one time to complete the pentahedron, which is suitable for high-precision machining of complex space surfaces.
Coincidentally, in the powder bed-based 3D printing process, there is also a linkage machining method similar to "parallel machining." Multi-beam laser molding system is a new type of powder bed laser molding equipment that is different from single-laser SLM and SLS printers. It is a new-generation molding process for high-efficiency, large-size and mass production of metal and polymer powder materials. It is a powder bed laser molding. New trends in process development. In this issue, we use the perspective shared by the 3D printing technology reference to understand the current status and challenges of multi-laser beam processing.
Is a trend
It is also a challenge
-- Expanded print size, large-sized parts integration
The position of the multi-laser printing system is to break the current 3D printing technology's production efficiency and product size limitations. Currently, multiple beams include dual beams, three beams, and four beams. Double beams such as the new HT1001P large size nylon machine released by Chinachem, FS421M, and SLM Solution SLM280, four beams such as EOS M400, SLM Solution SLM 500, and Platinum BLT-S500.
For example, the Huaying HT1001P print size reaches 1000×500×450mm, which can realize integrated molding of large products and mass production of small products.
-- Greatly improved efficiency
In terms of colloquialism, the four-laser system can print four parts at the same time. Compared with the single laser system, it greatly reduces the multiple preparation time for printing. Although it has long strokes and many printing parts, the four lasers simultaneously The time spent on printing by a single layer has not been extended.
The EOS M400 is equipped with four 400W lasers. Each laser is responsible for the 250 x 250mm construction area (with 50mm overlap). It can manufacture 4 parts at the same time. The molding size is 400 x 400 x 400mm, which is higher than the single laser system production efficiency. Times. SLM Solutions' SLM 500 has a molding size of 500 x 280 x 365mm, which is nearly 90% more efficient than the SLM 280 with its dual laser system.
-- Increase productivity
Due to the increase of molding space, it means that one device can complete the processing tasks of multiple devices at one time. This can reduce the number of equipment purchases, equipment cost, personnel maintenance costs, and equipment use space costs for large-scale manufacturers. .
The multi-laser system not only means that parts can be made larger and can be manufactured in batches, but there are many technical challenges involved.
Challenges 1. Four laser printers require four optical systems, four lasers, and a galvanometer system to operate smoothly, ensure the stability of beam and power, and ensure that components can be seamlessly connected.
Challenges 2. The simultaneous operation of four lasers also means that more printing problems may occur, whether the thermal field is even, and how damage to one part can be prevented from affecting the printing of other parts.
Challenge 3. Can four parts have the same performance and can implement different control strategies for different parts;
Challenges 4. Due to the increase of molding space, smoke during the printing process is bound to be more difficult to remove, and the printer can achieve consistent process gas management.
Challenge 5. Can we achieve real-time detection of powder bed, various parameters, and can provide feedback.
At present, equipment manufacturers or large customers are no longer satisfied with small-volume manufacturing. Expanding print size, improving printing efficiency, further reducing equipment purchase costs, and improving overall profit are goals pursued by large-scale manufacturers.
Multi-beam has become the new trend of the powder bed laser forming process. One needs to do large-scale parts, and the second is to realize batch manufacturing. The development of multi-laser beam new equipment has become the focus of equipment manufacturers competing to chase. In order to improve the efficiency, regardless of the nylon machine or the metal printer, the uninterrupted production of internal cylinder change and automatic sealed screen powder delivery will also be reflected as a new technology form. Behind the development of multiple laser beam trends, extensive monitoring functions, control functions, and reliable printing processes are key to ensuring high process stability and part quality.