O.R. Lasertechnologie GmbH, Dieburg, Germany, has developed an automated powder nozzle for existing laser welding systems that enables use of Direct Metal Deposition (DMD) instead of manual laser cladding for modifying and repairing injection moulds and dies.
Unlike conventional laser cladding, which usually requires a welder to feed filler wire almost entirely by hand, the automated DMD nozzle feeds metal powder into the laser beam and onto an existing surface. It can be used on three-dimensional surfaces and lends itself to a range of uses, including enhancing surfaces, modifying shapes and restoring damaged forming, punching and injection moulding tools and dies.
DMD can be up to 250-330% faster than manual laser cladding and new Additive Manufacturing 2.0 (AM 2.0)-capable laser welding systems can now be equipped with the recently developed powder nozzle. The nozzle can be programmed with the Orlas Suite CAD/CAM software.