Optomec, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, reports that it will launch two new metal Additive Manufacturing machines, the CS250 and the HC-TBR, during Formnext Connect which takes place digitally from November 10–12, 2020.
The new AM machines are based on Directed Energy Deposition (DED), a free form powder-based metal AM process that Optomec states it developed under the LENS trademark. Both of the machines are said to offer unparalleled value in terms of functionality, performance, flexibility, and pricing. They feature a 250 x 250 x 250 mm build volume, suitable for small part production and repair, including batch processing. The systems are available in 3 axis or 5 axis versions capable of simultaneous 5 axis coordinated motion for full free space building.
Additionally, the new AM machines are equipped with a next-generation print head that is capable of automatically changing the laser spot size and output power on the fly, so they can apply material faster to larger areas of the part yet still create fine features with lower heat input to thinner areas of the build. Further, these machines have an optional inert processing capability that is optimised for building reflective and reactive alloys like copper, aluminium and titanium, in addition to a wide variety of other common metals including steel, nickel, etc.
The CS250 machine, designed for research, is an all-in-one system with up to four integrated powder feeders, enabling rapid alloy development and graded-material part creation. It is small enough to pass through a standard doorway, facilitating use in many existing research labs. The base system pricing starts at under $300,000.
The HC-TBR machine is designed for high performance, high volume production applications, and includes the capability of automatically **moving and processing titanium parts into and out of an inert atmosphere, a feature which is said to be critical for high-quality metallurgy and plant safety.
For Additive Repair applications, such as production turbine blade restoration, the HC-TBR also includes an integrated vision system with proprietary AutoCLAD software that scans each part individually and uses pattern recognition to create a custom tool path and additive repair recipe for the part, compensating for part-to-part variation while minimizing the heat input into the component.
The HC-TBR was designed for easy integration into automated work cells and includes automatic antechamber doors which can be loaded and unloaded robotically.
“The HC-TBR is the first machine capable of high volume production for reactive metals like aluminium and titanium,” commented Mike Dean, Optomec Marketing Director. “We’ve seen quite an increase in demand for these materials from our customers and expect the trend to continue as manufacturers move to lighter weight designs.”