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Powder Based Technology

Optomecs Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) Soligens Direct Shell Production Casting ( DSCP) Fraunhofers Multiphase Jet Solidification ( MJS) Arcams Electron Beam Melting ( EBM) Therics TheriForm Technology Extrude Hones ProMetal 3D Printing Process

LENS - Principle

High Powered Nd:YAG Laser focused onto a metal substrate created a molten puddle on the substrate surfaces. Powder is then injected into the molten puddle to increase the material volume. A Printing motion system moves a platform horizontally and laterally as laser beam traces the cross-section of the part being produced. After formation of layer powder delivery nozzle moves upward prior to building next layer.

Specification and Model

Laser Engineered Net Shaping

Applications: LENS

Build mould and die inserts Producing Titanium components for biological implants Produce functionally gradient structure Metallic parts- hip implant- example Advantages: Dense material parts, complex parts, reduce post-processing requirements Disadvantages: Larger size, high power consumption, limited material

DSPC : Principle

It is based on 3D printing principle. This technology invented, developed by MIT, USA. It is suitable for metal casting. Binder from the nozzle selectively binds the ceramic particles together to crate each layer. Layer after layer is built and bound to the previous layer until the ceramic shell completed. The shell is removed from the DSPC machine and fired to verification temperatures to harden and remove all moisture. All excess ceramic particles are blown away.



DSPC : Mechanism

A powder holder contains manufacturing material powder A powder distributor distribute a thin layer of powder Rollers which are used to compress each layer before binding A printer head which sprays binder on each layer A bin which is used to hold the mold

DSPC: Advantages & Disadvantages

Pattern less casting: direct tooling, Functional parts : metal tooling i.e, die for die-casting, Net shaped integral model: No parting line, core prints or draft angles re required Limited Material only : ceramic mold for metal casting. Applications: Automotive, Aero space, computer industries and medical prostheses.


MJS: Principles & Process

The basic concept applies the extrusion of low viscosity materials through a jet layer by layer. It is some what similar to FDM process. Only difference is raw material used to build and feeding systems. In MJS material is supplied in different phases using powder-binder mixture or liquefied alloys instead of using material in the wire form. Feeding and nozzle system also different. Material is wax 50% with metal powder ( liquefied alloys or powder binder mixture), chamber pressure, machine speed, jet specification, material flow and operating temperature. Process : Data preparation, model building


Principle: the parts are built up when an electron beam is fired at the metal powder. The computer controlled electron beam in vacuum melts the layer of powder precisely. A layer is added once previous layer has melted. Application : H13 Tool steel injection and compression molding tools, functional prototype components Product: Electron beam gun, vacuum chamber with fabrication tank powder holder, vacuum pumps, monitor, high voltage device etc.,

Therics TheriForm Technology

Principle: It is based on 3D printing Technology developed by MIT. Binder droplets are selectively dispensed to bond the powders in the same layer together as well as next layer. Process: The product are fabricated by printing micro drops of binders, drugs and other material and even lining cells onto an ultrathin- layer of powder polymers and biomaterials in computer directed sequence.

TheriForm Process


Principle: It is same as 3D printing technology. An electrostatic ink-jet printing head to deposit a liquid binder onto the powder metals. The part built one layer at a time based on the sliced cross sectional data. The metal powder is spread on the built piston and a sliced layer is printed onto the powder layer by the ink jet print head depositing droplets of binder that are turn dried by binder drying lamp. This process is repeated until part is completed.

ProMetal Process

Prometal : Application

Printing Tool steel tooling parts, Injection molds, extrusion dies, direct metal components blow molding and repairing worn out metal tools Advantages : Fast, flexible and reliable and largest steel mold parts. ( 1016mm X 508 mm X 254mm)

STL File- ERRORS Missing Facets

Shell Puncture

Overlapping , Non Manifold

Valid and Invalid Model

Model tessellated surface without gaps

Error Detection

RP Machining Process

RP Applications

Applications of rapid prototyping can be classified into three categories:

1. 2.


Design Engineering analysis and planning Tooling and manufacturing

Design Applications

Designers are able to confirm their design by building a real physical model in minimum time using RP Design benefits of RP:

Reduced lead times to produce prototypes

Improved ability to visualize part geometry Early detection of design errors Increased capability to compute mass properties

Engineering Analysis and Planning

Existence of part allows certain engineering analysis and planning activities to be accomplished that would be more difficult without the physical entity

Comparison of different shapes and styles to determine aesthetic appeal

Wind tunnel testing of streamline shapes

Stress analysis of physical model

Fabrication of pre-production parts for process planning and tool design

Tooling Applications

Called rapid tool making (RTM) when RP is used to fabricate production tooling Two approaches for tool-making:


Indirect RTM method Direct RTM method

Indirect RTM Method

Pattern is created by RP and the pattern is used to fabricate the tool Examples:

Patterns for sand casting and investment casting Electrodes for EDM

Direct RTM Method

RP is used to make the tool itself Example:

3DP to create a die of metal powders followed by sintering and infiltration to complete the die

Manufacturing Applications

Small batches of plastic parts that could not be economically molded by injection molding because of the high mold cost Parts with intricate internal geometries that could not be made using conventional technologies without assembly One-of-a-kind parts such as bone replacements that must be made to correct size for each user

Problems with Rapid Prototyping

Part accuracy:
Staircase appearance for a sloping part surface due to layering Shrinkage and distortion of RP parts

Limited variety of materials in RP

Mechanical performance of the fabricated parts is limited by the materials that must be used in the RP process

Rapid Tooling

Core and Cavity

Process yields excellent tool finish Captures intricate detail

Core in Universal Base

600,000 shots and still running


Ideal for geometrically complex shapes



Die casting
Thermoplastic injection molding MIM (metal injection molding) 2 weeks from CAD file to part Extended tool life Ideal for multi-cavity molds

Fast turnaround, low cost

Mold hardness

Quick cavity duplication

Injection Molded Plastic

Plastic- Noryl 873

MIM- Metal Injection Molding

Nickel/ Steel Alloy

Metal Arc Spray Systems

Vacuum Casting with Silicon molding