3D Metal Printing takes new avatar
TU GRAZ gave new avatar to 3D metal printing using high performance LED light sources and the process is further carried through additive manufacturing.
Why SLEDM is different from other 3D metal printing?
Selective LED-based melting(SLEDM) is the process in which the metal powder in 3D metal printers are melted using high power LED light sources. Whereas in other similar technologies like Selective laser melting(SLM) and Electron Beam melting(EBM) the metal powder is melted through laser or electron beam. Selective LED-based melting(SLEDM) is the new name given by Franz Haas head of the institute of the production engineering at TU GRAZ.
Selective LED-based melting(SLEDM) solves two main problems in bed-based manufacturing process :
- Time consumption in the production of large volume metal components
- Time consumption in manual post-process
Reduced production time
The high power emitting diodes used in SLEDM are embedded with a complex lens system in which the diameter of the LED focus can be easily changed between 0.05 and 20mm. It enables the system to melt large volumes of powder per unit and thus reducing the time.
Post-process made easy
In comparison with other metal melting plants a newly designed plant is installed with SLEDM throughout the process. This will carry out all the powdering works within the printing process itself. Thus deleting and minimizing the post-production work and time.
The first demonstration of the project was done at the medical university of GRAZ. SLEDM is used to produce bioresorbable metal implants namely magnesium screws used in orthopedics operations. This will completely delete the second time operation for the patients and reduces extra pain.
Franz Haas says that the other focus is on sustainable mobility such as the production of bipolar plates and components for battery. He also added that they want to make additive manufacturing economically viable for e-mobility and position SLEDM in the research path in its early stage itself.
In the current era where 3D printers unlocking the greatest potential in the digital world, SLEDM has a huge potential to unlock its success.
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