In times of ever shorter product life cycles and increasingly more complex and more individualised components, generative manufacturing processes can help companies to produce new and innovative products more quickly. Generative manufacturing processes enable the production of complex geometries and workpieces. The unique technology combination of Directed Energy Deposition, also called blown powder method, by means of a powder nozzle with turning and milling enables completely new applications and geometries. With the LASERTEC 4300 3D DMG MORI offers its second hybrid solution for combined Directed Energy Deposition and 5-axis milling and turning. With an extraordinarily large working area this solution uses a deposition process by means of a powder nozzle, which is up to 20 times faster in deposition than a powder bed.
The market for additive processes has grown rapidly in the past. However, up to now these processes have been restricted to the production of prototypes and small parts, which could not otherwise have been manufactured using conventional methods. With the combination of the two processes, metal deposition and metal removal, on one machine additive technology complements and enhances traditional machining methods. Typically the prior solutions were also restricted to the build of a single alloy, while the new method enables the combination of multiple alloys in a single build – via laminations or gradual transitions from one alloy to another.
With the development of its LASERTEC 4300 3D DMG MORI brings additive manufacturing to large part applications offering an envelope of 1,500 mm x ø 600 mm. Equipped with a mirrored C-axis workpieces can be transferred, which allows work on all six faces of the cube. 6-axis deposition also enables the development of deposition nozzles of higher efficiency providing smoother surfaces. This sums up to deposition rates that are 20 times faster than work in a conventional powder bed. Additionally, the lower turret of the machine can be used as a virtual fixture rigidly supporting the part during the subsequent machining process only when and where it is needed.
The laser, complete with powder deposition head, is fitted into the Capto or HSK toolholder of the milling spindle. Up to five deposition heads can be automatically parked in a secure docking station while turning or milling operations are being carried out on the machine. These deposition heads can be prepared for I.D. deposition, O.D. deposition, large diameters of deposition or small, heat-treating, surface-hardening, or welding, providing considerable flexibility in manufacturing strategy. The LASERTEC 4300 3D and the process are operated and controlled by means of the new 21.5” ERGOline® control with CELOS® and Operate 4.5 on SIEMENS 840D solutionline.
Producing large parts generatively
In contrast to laser melting in a powder bed, the blown powder method enables large parts to be manufactured using a metal powder nozzle. The combination with milling opens up completely new applications. The component can be built up in several steps, whereby milling can be interspersed with the blown powder method in order to allow areas, which the cutter would no longer be able to reach when the component was finished due to the component geometry, to be machined to final accuracy.
The LASERTEC 4300 3D combines the advantages of milling, such as high precision and surface quality, with the flexibility and high deposition rate of metal deposition. “In the case of integral components, where today 95 % of the material is removed by milling, with additive processes material is only built up where it is needed. This leads to significant savings in raw materials and costs”, explains Friedemann Lell, Sales Director for LASERTEC at SAUER GmbH.
The process of Directed Energy Deposition can be used with materials like carbon steels, stainless steels, Inconel, cobalt-chrome, and copper. Because of its working area the LASERTEC 4300 3D is an ideal solution for applications in heavy equipment, and larger applications in aerospace, energy and transportation.
Highlights – LASERTEC 4300 3D