Laser additive manufacturing demonstration facility opened by ES Technology

Feb. 16, 2012
Daventry, England--ES Technology has completed a demonstration facility for laser additive manufacturing using its Concept Laser Mlab cusing machine.

Daventry, England--Industrial laser systems and components manufacturer ES Technology has completed a demonstration facility for laser additive manufacturing (LAM) using its Concept Laser (Lichtenfels, Germany) Mlab cusing machine. Cusing is a type of LAM technology that builds small parts from laser-melted metal powders, but producing a more robust and solid component than is possible using most laser sintering methods.

ES says it has exclusively distributed Concept Lasers LaserCUSING systems for four years and is now able to show how easy it is to build metal parts such as gold jewelry directly from 3D CAD designs. Compact in size at only 710 mm wide x 1000 mm deep and 1850 mm high, the system requires just a single phase 240 volt electricity supply.

Parts can be built in just hours from stainless steel, cobalt chrome, or precious metals such as yellow gold and silver and the system is designed to operate unattended overnight. Additional materials, currently under development for the system, include bronze and titanium. Mlab cusing also includes an easy to use pull-out drawer system that enables quick removal of the construction chamber, dosing chamber, and the powder container for the purpose of storing unused material.

"The Mlab cusing represents a breakthrough in metal direct manufacturing in terms of convenience and affordability," said Colin Cater, ES's product manager for Concept Lasers systems. The Mlab cusing is aimed at markets that require smaller (less than 90 mm x 90 mm x 80 mm) metal parts. For larger components, Concept Laser uses the established M1, M2, and M3 systems that can build parts up to 300 mm x 350 mm. "Initial markets include dental and jewellery manufacture but we've had plenty of interest so far from Automotive, Aerospace, Medical Device and Tool & Mould manufacturers," Cater added.

Companies are invited to contact ES Technology to arrange to visit the ES facility in Daventry to try to see the Mlab cusing machine in action and discuss potential applications.

SOURCE: ES Technology; www.estechnology.co.uk

IMAGE: The Mlab cusing system produces intricate metal parts for a variety of industries such as this heart pendant using laser additive manufacturing directly from 3D CAD data. (Courtesy ES Technology)

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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