Fonon’s Bulk-To-Shape metal Additive Manufacturing targeted at the mining industry

June 12, 2024

Fonon’s 3DFusion metal Additive Manufacturing machine (Courtesy Fonon)
Fonon’s 3DFusion metal Additive Manufacturing machine (Courtesy Fonon)

Fonon Corporation, based in Orlando, Florida, USA, has reported the potential for its Bulk-To-Shape (BTS) application-specific Additive Manufacturing technology in the mining industry. Although still under development, Fonon expects its BTS technology to enable mining professionals produce spare parts and tools locally, saving time and reducing costs.

Mining equipment is often located in remote, less accessible areas, making it costly and time-consuming to transport spare parts. Although mining equipment is designed to be durable, some failures are inevitable, and maintenance can be challenging.

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Rather than collecting extensive inventories or risking downtime when replacement components are not available, operators can use obsolete parts or raw materials for reproduction. When fully actualised, Fonon’s BTS machine is expected to be capable of recreating a three-dimensional model through a combination of conventional laser Additive Manufacturing with original metal powder.

Fonon’s metal Additive Manufacturing machines will use a form of Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB), where a focused laser beam is used to to fuse metal powder into 3D objects. Production-quality parts and metal prototypes will be capable of being BTS-manufactured directly from a digital model. The company states that its automated build-plate technology will extend part sizes out to 1.5 m x 3 m.

As a result, critical parts can be obtained faster, less inventory is required onsite, and a more sustainable supply chain carbon footprint can be achieved. Physical inventories can be replaced by digital inventories, and new components and parts can be produced on demand. Fonon’s BTS-powered Additive Manufacturing machines will give users the power to fabricate complex geometries and optimise the designs of existing parts for better performance and reliability, as well as provide the benefit of reduced material waste.

Fonon’s advanced manufacturing machines will utilise Direct Drive Motion and proprietary LaserComb Beam Shaping technologies to position a powerful laser for enhanced production speed and consistency. The system will even ensure a balanced distribution of light across the powder bed, achieving a significant decrease in reflectivity and improved beam quality.

fonon.com

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