AddUp, headquartered in Cébazat, France, has announced the FormUp® 350 Evolution Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing machine, suitable for producing parts up to 1 m tall.
Based on the architecture of the FormUp 350 New Generation machine, the 350 Evolution offers an increased manufacturing volume, as well as an architecture focused on reducing non-productive time. With a build volume of 350 x 350 x 1000 mm enabling the production of 1 m parts, the machine is expected to allow users to expand the spectrum of applications for PBF-LB.
With the FormUp 350 Evolution and its 185% larger volume, it becomes possible to additively manufacture parts as large as combustion chambers, aircraft structural elements, missile bodies, or even large-capacity heat exchangers in a single operation. The Evolution machine includes an extension of the Z axis and a manufacturing enclosure nearly identical to the existing FormUp 350 New Generation machine. This allows for total compatibility of recipes and parameters to create production-scale parts with the desired properties.
A ‘stretched’ version of the FormUp 350 New Generation, the Evolution machine features the characteristics that are thought to have made the FormUp range so successful, notably in the aeronautics, defence, and medical sectors. Just as with the FormUp 350 New Generation, this new machine offers the choice of a roller or scraper recoating device and a number of lasers, up to 4,500 W each.
While the manufacturing enclosure is inspired by the FormUp 350 machine, the Evolution’s architecture is focused on productivity. As additively manufacturing tall parts traditionally involves long manufacturing times, AddUp engineers have worked to eliminate all non-productive time in the AM process. The new machine is equipped with an extractible build chamber, which allows for the manufactured part and its build chamber to be removed from the machine immediately after build completion; this preserves the inert environment to guarantee part quality and powder reuse.
A new platform can be placed inside the machine as soon as the previous chamber is removed, and the start of the next production can occur. The cooling of the previous build, as well as the vacuuming of the loose powder, can be carried out as a background task rather than taking up machine time, which can save several hours between productions.
In addition, all laser and chamber parameters are completely open, allowing manufacturers to optimise the mechanical characteristics of parts and their surface finish. The FormUp includes a high level of safety with the inclusion of an autonomous powder module and a fume filtration module that prevents the exposure of toxic or explosive substances to operators, even when using reactive powders. This also allows the powder properties to be maintained over the course of many productions, ensuring that the powder is never exposed to ambient air.
By introducing a PBF-LB machine with an extended height, AddUp hoped to meet the real need of production-level manufacturing: to produce large parts with a high level of complexity and precision. The FormUp350 Evolution responds to the need to make such applications profitable in an effort to further industrialise metal Additive Manufacturing.