Optomec, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, has announced the launch of its LENS 860 Hybrid Controlled Atmosphere (CA) System at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2018. The large-format hybrid metal Additive Manufacturing system is a new addition to the Optomec LENS Machine Tool Series and reportedly offers larger build volume and higher laser power than the company’s previous offerings.
The system has an 860 x 600 x 610 mm build volume, equipped with a hermetically-sealed build chamber that maintains oxygen and moisture levels below 10 ppm for the processing pf reactive metals such as titanium. The system can be configured with closed loop controls and a high-power 3 kW fibre laser, said to be ideal for building, repairing or coating mid- to large-size parts with a high metal quality.
In addition to the LENS 860 Hybrid CA model, three more configurations are available. The LENS 860 Hybrid Open Atmosphere (OA) system is suitable for processing non-reactive metals such as stainless steel, tool steel, Inconel, etc, while two additive-only models (available with both Open and Controlled Atmospheres) are also available.
All systems in the Machine Tool series incorporate Optomec’s LENS 3D Metal Printing technology, which it states has been enhanced for higher power and faster Additive Manufacturing. One key advantage of the LENS Hybrid configuration is said to be its ability to use the milling capability to perform finish machining on an additively manufactured part without re-fixturing or aligning the component on a second machine.
“The new LENS 860 suite of systems builds on the success of our Machine Tool Series, first launched at IMTS in 2016,” stated Dave Ramahi, Optomec’s president and CEO. “These new larger machines continue to demonstrate our ability to transition Optomec production-proven 3D Metal Printing capability onto traditional CNC platforms that match the cost, performance and ease-of-use demands of the traditional machine tool market. These products are a key element of our strategy to bring metal Additive Manufacturing into the industrial mainstream.”
The LENS 860 Hybrid CA system can reportedly be used to produce and repair larger parts cost-effectively, and also offers the ability to print fine-features for thin wall structures and perform wide area cladding for wear coating applications. Optomec’s software enables 5-axis build strategies that combine additive and subtractive operations in a single tool path. A range of material starter recipes are also available to help speed adoption.
Optomec stated that it will begin shipping the new system to customers this year. The LENS Machine Tool Series has a starting price of under $250,000.