Excelling in Direct Energy Deposition Technology, the Wave of the Future
Additive Manufacturing , also called 3D Printing, generically refers to the process of building structural parts, layer by layer, following a tool path generated from a 3D CAD file. The emerging technique of Laser Additive Manufacturing uses a laser as the energy source to create a near net shape metal part by fusing feed metal supplied in either powder or wire form.
The way we perform Laser Additive Manufacturing by using an approach called Directed Energy Deposition (DED) or Laser Metal Deposition (LMD). In this approach, complex shapes and geometries are built layer by layer using a powder nozzle attached to a gantry system or robot. Compared to other laser based additive manufacturing techniques such as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) or Selective Laser Melting (SLM), the deposition rates using the DED approach are substantially higher.
Benefits of DED process include:
- Low process heat
- Near net shape results
- Minimal post deposition machining is required
- 99.95% or higher density in manufactured parts
- Large build volumes are possible
Understand more about directed energy deposition
Business Case / Cost Savings
Laser Additive Manufacturing makes a strong business case, including but not limited to substantial cost savings, in applications that involve:
- Prototypes and one-of-a-kind parts
- Long lead times when done by traditional methods
- Parts with complex internal geometry
- Manufacturing limitations with conventional methods.
Examples of applications where Laser Additive Manufacturing excels include:
- Molds and dies containing conformal cooling channels
- Aerospace turbine blades
It is vital to note that the use of Laser Additive Manufacturing allows single, complex parts to be manufactured that would have required two or more parts if done by conventional means, thereby simplifying overall designs and reducing total parts count.