Additive manufacturing processes make it possible to produce a part thanks to the successive deposits of layers of material. In recent years, laser additive manufacturing processes have developed considerably with the arrival of new technologies combined with laser sources which have contributed to this boom in industrial sectors. The integration of laser additive manufacturing machines into the production chain helps reduce costs and waste. This type of process offers the possibility of manufacturing a wide variety of parts according to various geometries and materials. Additive manufacturing on a powder bed is used for small parts requiring high deposition precision. Additive laser manufacturing by powder spraying or by adding wire is more suitable for large parts and higher production rates. Industrial Laser Systems supports manufacturers in implementing these innovative laser additive manufacturing solutions in order to improve their production capacity.
Thanks to recent advances in optical laser devices, the ability to build a 3D volume through the supply of molten wire by laser beam has improved, thus arousing the interest of manufacturers. This process, close to laser brazing, is called laser-wire additive manufacturing (or WLAM for Wire Laser Additive Manufacturing).
Less expensive than powder, the use of wire as filler metal guarantees 100% material yield and eliminates the constraints associated with powder management. The laser beam allows better control of heat input compared to arc-wire additive manufacturing processes. This feature makes it possible to limit thermal deformations during deposition cycles while improving the properties of the post-process part.
Currently, laser-wire additive manufacturing offers an alternative to arc processes for the production of large parts with a minimum of thermal deformation.
Current research still needs to deepen knowledge of the process in order to diversify the materials that can be deposited. The first parts produced allow a wide variety of applications to be envisaged, such as reloading/cladding, repair or the creation of a 3D volume. Several research programs have been launched in France and in Europe in order to better master and expand the applications of this new laser-wire additive manufacturing process.
Industrial Laser Systems is also participating in one of these programs with the objective of developing an industrial demonstrator that will serve as the basis for a standard laser-wire additive manufacturing machine.
Wire laser additive construction demonstrator, based on a gantry-type configuration, with a volume of 500 mm3, this machine aims to produce entire parts or add functionality to existing elements with high added value. It will serve as the basis for a range of standard machines.
In order to be able to work on larger volumes, laser additive construction machines by powder spraying began to emerge. Based on the same technology as that used for the repair of aeronautical parts, the powder is projected and melted by a laser beam leaving a high pressure nozzle (reloading head). This process makes it possible to produce parts of greater volume but require draconian protection due to the environment in which the powder is projected: inlet airlock, overpressure room, suit for operators with air filtration, recycling of powders, etc. Industrial Laser Systems has manufactured for a major aeronautical customer an additive powder spray laser construction machine, integrating a robot and two diode laser sources in a controlled atmosphere enclosure. This LMD machine allows the production of prototype parts but also the repair of specific parts.
Laser machine of additive construction by powder projection, with a glove box in a controlled atmosphere. Incorporates two diode laser sources with two different optical configurations including a zoom with dynamic spot variation.
The democratization of consumer 3D printing has changed the function of deposited parts and the way we design them. SLM-type laser additive manufacturing makes it possible to produce ceramic, metallic or polymer parts from the fusion of successive layers of powder. Used for making small parts, SLM machines allow high dimensional accuracy to be achieved on parts of high geometric complexity.
Industrial Laser Systems is one of the players in this field and has been manufacturing SLM type machines for several years for a large industrialist of international renown.
Machines laser de construction additive type SLM. Elles Intègrent des sources laser ayant des longueurs d’ondes différentes adaptées au procédé du client.