DMG Mori introduces LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen Additive Manufacturing machine

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

DMG Mori has introduced the LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen at its Open House in Bielefeld, Germany (Courtesy DMG Mori)
DMG Mori has introduced the LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen at its Open House in Bielefeld, Germany (Courtesy DMG Mori)

DMG Mori, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has introduced the LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing at its Open House in Bielefeld, Germany. With quad lasers, a full overlap working area, and a build volume of 325 x 325 x 400 mm, the company is aiming to target the mid-size AM machine market.

The LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen builds on previous iterations and is intended to accommodate customer requirements in the changing Additive Manufacturing market. The machine’s core structure uses castings – leveraging the same technology and design principles used on the majority of DMG Mori milling and turning machines. Using castings is standard practice for DMG Mori but is thought to be new to Additive Manufacturing and, the company claims, enables the highest levels of machine rigidity.

Unlike machine tools, there are no dynamic forces from the movement of the axes on a LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen. However, temperature changes that cause thermal expansion within the machine are inevitable. DMG Mori stated that it has years of experience in minimising the effect of and compensating for temperature changes within its products. The company has worked to ensure that the process chamber is an isolated unit within the machine, thereby allowing the Floating Process Chamber to expand in all directions during temperature variations.

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In contrast, the optics are mounted on the rigid casting Gantry Frame. The distance in Z between the optics and powder bed is kept constant by calibrating the recoater to a reference surface. In addition, the Z-axis is actively compensated for any displacement. Therefore, problems related to the distance between the optics, the top surface of the powder bed and associated problems with the recoating layer can be eliminated.

To reduce the time between build jobs and to increase flexibility, the rePLUG units are self-contained, automated powder material processing units that can be exchanged with other rePLUG units. The excess powder from the working area is sieved, stored and prepared for re-use, all under an inert gas atmosphere within a closed loop. This not only minimises oxidisation or any moisture build-up but also reduces potential operator exposure to the powder. For other customers, the rePLUG makes changing between different materials much easier.

Related components inside the machine itself can be as easily cleaned, making the LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen quick to change between materials in an effort to widen the machine’s range of applications.

For the first time on a DMG Mori LASERTEC SLM, rapid exchange of the build container is possible. This further increases machine efficiency since it is no longer necessary to wait for the build job to cool down. Covers for the build container and the working area are stored inside the working area during operation. These are used to close off the build container upon removal and ensure that the inert gas atmosphere inside the machine is preserved. The next build job can be quickly started without a renewed inert gas flooding.

Camera monitoring of the powder bed’s surface further minimises disruption during manufacturing. After each layer, the surface is scanned for anomalies before the re-coater moves. If a protrusion is not detected in time, the bidirectional re-coater is equipped with a collision protection mechanism to shorten any subsequent downtime. Upon making contact with a protrusion sticking up from the bed, the re-coater immediately detaches from the drive system, thus avoiding further damage.

The newly designed inert gas flow over the powder bed enables a consistent laminar flow during operation. The secondary gas flow below the protective glass aims to avoid residue build-up on the protective glass. The wind tunnel-like design ensures unprecedented gas flow performance. A secondary camera system constantly observes the protection glass and warns if there is a problem. Additional lighting is provided in the area of the protective glass to support the operator when checking and cleaning the protective glass between build jobs.

DMG Mori has placed emphasis on the usability and ergonomics of the machine, including reducing the operator contact with the powder. The LASERTEC 30 SLM 3rd Gen utilises the CELOS X operating environment which guides the operator through all the steps required to get a job running. (For example, it prompts the operator to clean the safety glass and shows how it is done. It also walks the operator through the powder refilling process or how daily checks and maintenance are to be performed.)

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June 17, 2024

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