Laser Additive Solutions Ltd (LAS), a provider of laser processing and Additive Manufacturing services based in Doncaster, UK, has successfully installed a Trumpf TruPrint 3000 Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) AM machine at its facility. The TruPrint 3000, originally purchased in August of this year, is the first to be installed in the UK.
Featuring a build area of 300 x 400 mm, the TruPrint 3000 can process a range of metals including steels and nickel-based alloys, aluminium and titanium alloys. The machine also features a number of machine configurations for parts and powder; internal or external powder removal via an integrated powder recovery system; shielding gas stream to support optimum and consistent quality for parts and, minimal downtime (near continuous 24/7 running) with parallel-to-production operation as a result of the twin powder supply cylinders.
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LAS states that the machine is well suited to a number of sectors, but its application could be particularly useful in aerospace; health engineering, including dentistry and joint replacements; transport parts; and, more generally, across industries needing fast-response with maintenance/replacement metal parts. LAS has stated that it also believes that the TruPrint 3000 has huge potential in the emerging UK space sector market given the lightweight structures needed which are not easy or cost-effective to make using other manufacturing techniques.
Laser Additive Solutions also noted the strength of resultant parts, due in part to the weight (4 tons) of the machine itself preventing excess machine movement during heating. The machine also includes an automatic ‘Melt Pool Monitoring’ tool which provides documentary evidence in respect of quality.
“Space Hub Yorkshire (SHY) were delighted to be invited to the launch of Laser Additive Solutions’ new 3D metal printer, which looks to bolster their capabilities and more importantly, open their business to the global opportunities of the space sector,” stated Felix Barr from Yorkshire Space Hub. “SHY will continue to support Laser Additive Solutions by providing advice, guidance, and promotional opportunities. In what is a very exciting time to enter the Space sector, SHY look forward to watching the growth and continued success of LAS for many years to come.”
Beginning with one laser unit and a single staff member focused on laser-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED), the company has grown to include Trumpf laser-based DED, the metal new PBF-LB AM machine and a number of staff who work across buildings in Doncaster.
Sue Harrison, Key Account and Business Growth Manager at Business Doncaster, stated, “It has been great to see how Laser Additive Solutions has evolved and grown over the last eight years. They are established in their field with an excellent reputation and a diverse client base, including Siemens Energy and Rolls-Royce.”
Peter Brown, LAS Managing Director, has stated that key to the company’s success has been the knowledge of its engineering team and the variety of laser-based services on offer, including in-house Additive Manufacturing, at a facility with ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.
“Although our core expertise is laser metal deposition (‘LMD’ – also known as laser Directed Energy Deposition [DED]), by broadening our investment to include 3D printing machinery, the aim is to propel our expansion. This technology enables more 24-hour production and the vision is that we will continue to invest in more of these sort of machines moving forward,” Brown explained.
“Although we knew the 3D printer technology would have strong appeal across a number of sectors, we’ve actually been surprised by the sheer variety of types of sectors who have an interest – so, for example, we knew this would have an appeal within, for example, the space sector but hadn’t necessarily anticipated interest within the sports/leisure sector. It’s been exciting to see,” he continued. “As a company, here at Laser Additive Solutions we are looking forward to now being able to showcase the capability of the new machine to potential customers and the range of parts and types of applications and uses this exciting new technology can be turned to.”