LENS 850R System for Laser Additive Manufacturing
LENS uses a high-power laser (500W to 4kW) to fuse powdered metals into fully dense 3-dimensional structures. The LENS 3D printer uses the geometric information contained in a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) solid model to automatically drive the LENS process as it builds up a component layer by layer. Additional software and closed-loop process controls ensure the geometric and mechanical integrity of the completed part.
The LENS process is housed in a hermetically-sealed chamber which is purged with argon so that the oxygen and moisture levels stay below 10 parts per million. This keeps the part clean, preventing oxidation. The metal powder feedstock is delivered to the material deposition head by Optomec's proprietary powder-feed system, which is able to precisely regulate mass flow. Once a single layer has been deposited, the material deposition head moves on to the next layer. By building up successive layers, the whole part is constructed. When complete, the component is removed and can be heat-treated, Hot-Isostatic-Pressed, machined, or finished in any customary manner. Click here for more information on LENS Applications for Metal Components or here for more information on LENS Products.
The LENS 3D printer can process a wide variety of metals including titanium, nickel-base superalloys, stainless steels and tool steels - all of which are commercially available in the required powder form. The results from LENS consistently demonstrate better metallurgical and mechanical properties than other processes due to an improved microstructure. For example, LENS-deposited 316SS typically has a cellular spacing of just a few microns, which leads to yield strengths approaching twice that of conventionally processed 316SS.