Case Study

Selective laser melting for aerospace with high-performance materials

| Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

The SLM 280 2.0 selective laser melting machine by SLM Solutions is installed at Zare's headquarters in Boretto.
The SLM 280 2.0 selective laser melting machine by SLM Solutions is installed at Zare's headquarters in Boretto. (Source: Zare)

Italy-based Zare, a leading Italian company in precision engineering, trusts the reliable and high-precision technology from SLM Solutions for manufacturing in the aerospace industry. The company from Boretto is expanding its machinery with an SLM 280 2.0.

Zare is a company with headquarters in northern Italy and more than 50 years of experience and expertise in precision engineering. In 2009, Zare started to provide independent services in rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing. Since then, the company has steadily expanded its range of machinery and rapidly increased its expertise in this field.

Zare reportedly reached a new milestone in 2011 with the expansion of its service offer in the areas of post-processing, finishing of prototypes, and preparing dental technical and medical models. Among other things, the company now also offers special surface finishing and reverse engineering. According to the company, Zare is characterised by a high level of diligence and reliability and is therefore well prepared for cultivating new international markets.

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Machine was able to convince with its construction chamber

Recently, the first selective laser melting machine, an SLM 280 2.0 from SLM Solutions, was delivered to its headquarter in Boretto. It was put into operation, embedded in Zare's own machinery. The company provides a wide range of machines for additive manufacturing and focuses on researching and testing individual materials.

The SLM 280 2.0 is currently being operated by Zare with the material AlSi7Mg0.6 (A357). The correct setting of the machine is the prerequisite for producing high-quality parts that require little post-processing. According to SLM Solutions, the selective laser machine is particularly suitable for processing high-performance materials and consequently ideal for manufacturing in the aerospace industry.

In addition, the company also uses the exclusive alloy Scalmalloy, which was developed by Airbus AP Works. Zare tests and defines processes in accordance with the standard UNI EN 9100:2009 to take full advantage of the construction chamber height of the SLM 280 2.0 with this high-performance alloy.

According to SLM Solutions, the SLM 280 2.0 has a construction space sized 280 x 280 x 365 mm³. Specialists from the industry maintain that the greater the Z-axis, the greater the quality. The designers at Zare were convinced by the substantial construction chamber height of the SLM 280 2.0.

“If you have a larger vertical expansion available, then that component in the machine can be aligned better and the number of necessary support elements reduced, which also reduces unwanted tension inside the component,” said Andrea Pasquali, co-owner of Zare.

Additive manufacturing has certainly overcome the phase in which it only seemed useful for the production of prototypes. Metal-based 3D printing is advancing innovation further and is a cutting-edge technology that enables the production of functional components with unique properties as well.

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