Concept Laser Metal additive technology has large component applications

Editor: Eric Culp

Germany – Concept Laser has announced that its X-Line 1000R series offers what it calls the largest build envelope for laser melting: 630 x 400 x 500mm.

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A gear housing made of aluminum, produced using additive manufacturing.
A gear housing made of aluminum, produced using additive manufacturing.
(Source: Concept Laser)

The company said it has also introduced the largest component produced to date using the additive process.

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At the core of the system are optics developed by Fraunhofer ILT and a 1000W laser, said to be a major step up from the 400W class in terms of component sizes and construction rates.

The X-line 1000R was developed for tool-less manufacturing of large functional components and technical prototypes with identical material properties to series-production assemblies. It is intended primarily for the automotive and aerospace industries, which use aluminium components for lightweight construction and high-performance materials such as titanium, respectively, the company said.

The X-line 1000R is claimed to deliver potential construction speeds of up to 65 cm³/h, reportedly equivalent to a 650% increase over conventional systems. Maximum component length is reported as 740mm. The largest metal component produced to date using the powder bed-based laser melting process is an aluminium gear housing measuring 474 x 367 x 480mm, excluding the height of the build platform (photo).

The system uses Concept Laser’s QM Coating and QM Meltpool quality management modules, along with temperature control of the build envelope in order to prevent distortion of oversize components.

Concept Laser explained that the ultimate aim is to replace cost-intensive sand and die-casting applications in early development phases. The company’s Laser Cusing process is said to allow for the construction of lightweight structures with high rigidity and weight-optimised geometries.

In the case of the aerospace industry and applications that make use of titanium and nickel-based alloys, the X-Line 1000R features a closed system for safe process and powder management compliant with ATEX directives, according to the manufacturer.

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