Meltio M600 developed for autonomous metal Additive Manufacturing

March 20, 2024

March 20, 2024

The Meltio M600 Additive Manufacturing machine can operate 24/7 with minimal operator interaction (Courtesy Meltio)
The Meltio M600 Additive Manufacturing machine can operate 24/7 with minimal operator interaction (Courtesy Meltio)

Meltio, based in Linares, Spain, has launched the Meltio M600 wire-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) Additive Manufacturing machine, offering increased productivity and reduced manufacturing costs, whilst enabling 24/7 operation with minimal operator interaction for autonomous production.

“The design brief for the new Meltio M600 was to imagine what the perfect 3D printer for the machine shop would look like. The vast majority of metal 3D printed parts require post-processing which is carried out in the machine shop and since our ambition is to push the large-scale adoption of metal Additive Manufacturing we have a very clear vision that the modern machine shop is the ideal point of entry. Manufacturing faces many challenges globally, from long lead times and stock-keeping costs caused by long and fragile supply chains to an ever-growing pressure to lower costs and reduce emissions,” shared Lukas Hoppe, Research+Development Director at Meltio.

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Additive Manufacturing has huge potential to address these issues, explains Meltio. It reduces lead times and manufacturing dependencies by allowing for in-house part production. It decreases warehouse inventory as raw materials can be converted into final parts as needed. Additionally, it lowers costs by using material only where necessary.

“It has, however, yet to realise this potential – in fact we still see metal AM mostly applied to very high-value applications, and this is where the Meltio M600 comes in as it improves on the state-of-the-art in a few very significant ways,” Hoppe continued.

The Meltio M600 can process a large range of materials efficiently (Courtesy Meltio)
The Meltio M600 can process a large range of materials efficiently (Courtesy Meltio)

The Meltio M600 is claimed to be highly autonomous, requiring minimal operator interaction. Common tasks like manual laser alignment have been eliminated for increased reliability. Additionally, programming takes just minutes using the Meltio Horizon, a dedicated slicer for the Meltio M600.

It has a build envelope 300 x 400 x 600 mm and incorporates a newly developed Blue Laser deposition head that increases build speed, while reducing energy consumption thanks to the increased absorption of the short wavelength light compared to most industrial lasers which emit near-infrared light.

This advantage is multiplied for reflective materials such as copper and aluminium alloys, where near-infrared lasers lead to unsatisfactory results. Combining this with the fully inert workspace, the Meltio M600 can process a large range of materials efficiently while producing parts with exceptional properties.

The Meltio M600 has a build envelope 300 x 400 x 600 mm (Courtesy Meltio)
The Meltio M600 has a build envelope 300 x 400 x 600 mm (Courtesy Meltio)

While the Meltio M600 may be of use in a range of sectors, the company’s goal was to design a machine that fits into any machine shop and works alongside CNC machines. It features a built-in 3-axis touch probe and supports various types of workholding solutions, which means you can also add features to or repair existing parts rather than manufacturing them entirely.

“The Meltio M600 for us was really the next logical step on our continuous journey towards mass adoption of wire-laser DED, the process all Meltio systems are based on,” Hoppe added. “We began this work in earnest in 2019 when we started to leave the prototyping space with the launch of the Meltio M450. After learning from and improving the technology for three years, the time was finally ripe for us to work on the next system.”

“Our goal with the Meltio M600 was to strike the right balance between machine size, cost, and productivity while being uncompromising on quality, reliability, and ease of use. To achieve this, we did not just create a ‘scaled up’ M450, instead, we developed every single part of the machine from scratch to take the technology to the next level, based on the learnings of having manufactured and installed over 300 laser DED machines,” concluded Hoppe.

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March 20, 2024

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