Industrial laser manufacturer, Trumpf and laser sintering experts EOS, have joined forces for the purpose of developing a Direct Metal Laser-Melting system. To this end the two companies, who are leaders in their respective areas have signed a co-operation agreement to develop the system based on a secure patent position.
The technology they are looking to develop is a variation on the Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology that EOS already possesses. This technology melts metal powders using a scanning laser beam to allow the build up of 3-dimensional shapes and is already used in rapid prototyping applications.
The direct metal laser melting system is aimed at taking the technology further, so that it can be used for rapid manufacturing processes. Potential applications for the technology includes series tool production, production of one-offs, ultra lightweight structures and medical devices.
The new machine that will be built will incorporate proven components such as EOS’ process controls and Trumpf’s solid state laser. Prototype machines are expected to be operational towards the beginning of 2003, with commercial variants available later in 2003.
The technology has been proven on tool steel, stainless steels and titanium alloys.
For more information on stainless steel, click here.