Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd (BFW), Bangalore, India, and its subsidiary m2nxt, have announced the development of a new large-format Directed Energy Deposition (DED) Additive Manufacturing machine. The laser-based Photon 4000G, capable of processing both metal and wire feedstock in a controlled atmosphere inert chamber, has a 3 m x 3 m x 4 m build chamber and is expected to be available from January 2023.
BFW offers a wide range of industrial machines to a global customer base and entered the DED metal AM market in September 2021. Leveraging its sixty years of experience, the company has now developed what it believes will be the world’s largest and fastest laser-based DED system available.
With a starting price of €1,990,000, the Photon 4000G incorporates a 36 m3 hermetically sealed argon chamber and provides a 10.4 m3 part build envelope. Dual-deposition heads, on a dual ram gantry, enable both powder and wire deposition with a 6 KW fibre laser.
“I have contract-printed parts priced at more than $250,000, and the BFW Photon 4000G can print similar parts at less than half that cost once amortisation and operational costs are considered,” stated Ashok H Varma, EVP & Global Leader, Additive Manufacturing at BFW. “It is also evident that the new wave of metal AM industrial manufacturing will be driven by Laser-DED.”
“Most currently installed systems are in laboratories or light industrial applications, many are ‘Do It Yourself’ systems, many are underpowered, undersized, or overpriced systems, many are idle or under-utilised, with few suppliers and users having the practical experience to optimally utilise this technology and reduce ‘time to value’,” Varma continued. “We believe we at BFW will be instrumental in closing the gap between supply and demand of large, very large, and huge 3D printed parts using laser-powder and laser-wire metal deposition, for free form fabrication and fine/heavy cladding/repairs.”
BFW intends to install Photon 4000G machines in its Dr Abdul Kalam Centre of Excellence in Bangalore for contract manufacturing, as well as marketing the machine globally. The company intends to announce the rollout of several other Photon machine models, including Photon 2500 and Photon 1000 series, with gantry and robot, mobile systems for in-situ repair/manufacturing and hybrid Additive Manufacturing configurations.