Sodick, Schaumburg, Illinois, USA, has announced the development of a new high-performance metal Additive Manufacturing technology termed Parallel Mode. An upgrade to the company’s first metal AM system, the OPM250L 3D Metal Printer, the company reports that it expects Parallel Mode to dramatically increase the machine’s process speed.
Using Parallel Mode, the machine will grow parts at three locations simultaneously using only a single beam. Because laser sintering equipment must take fumes and shape deviation into consideration when generating the laser path, the laser unit is not always utilised at full capacity during traditional AM processing. Parallel Mode, Sodick stated, makes optimal use of the laser unit by targeting multiple locations simultaneously.
Parallel Mode is reportedly suited to a wide variety of applications and can be used to create singular large parts, as well as multiple replicas of the same part, in less time. While some multi-beam designs utilise separate work envelopes, Parallel Mode is not limited to one beam per quadrant, meaning that a workpiece covering only one part of the work table may benefit from Parallel Mode as much as if it had covered the entire table.
According to Sodick, the new machine also incorporates an upgraded fume collector, which is expected to last significantly longer than the previous iteration, allowing to run longer between maintenance cycles and accommodate the fumes produced by Parallel Mode’s increased production rate.