Adding complex geometries to simple shapes with LaserCUSING
Technology can be used to produce hybrid parts, often with dissimilar metals.
Lichtenfels, Germany - Concept Lasers' LaserCUSING® process is a manufacturing method for both prototypes and production-level components. The flexibility of the process allows hybrid components to be manufactured, where complex geometries can be built upon relatively simple base components, saving time and cost.
The LaserCUSING process produces intricate geometries and profiles in a variety of materials on components for the aerospace, automotive, medical device and mold tool industries, to name but a few. In many instances, these components are manufactured from scratch within the LaserCUSING machine, however there are a growing number of cases where the technology is used to produce hybrid parts, often with dissimilar metals.
ES Technology Ltd, UK, and Ireland distributors for the range of Concept Laser LaserCUSING machines have been demonstrating the capabilities of the process to manufacture hybrid parts at their Daventry facility. In a recent example, an intricate bronze lattice was built upon stainless steel washers, super glued to a base plate, illustrating the potential for adding a fine filter mesh to components such as pump housings. This is done in a few simple steps and without the need for sophisticated component fixtures.
First, in this case, the stainless steel washers glued to the baseplate are roughly measured to establish their center positions. Using MAGICS software, the CAD STL model for the bronze lattice tops is imported and the rough positions used. The build platform is located on the machine and the CAD slicing program is then imported.
The next step is to load the bronze powder, which is levelled to the top of the stainless steel washers, thus establishing the Z start position. The laser in a low power mode is used to produce what is known as a "ghost layer". This allows verification of positional accuracy prior to the commencement of the build process. On completion of the build process the unused bronze powder is sieved ready for use in the next cycle and the finished parts are easily removed from the build platform.
Using the hybrid build capabilities of the process also offers opportunities for the repair of damaged parts.
The full range of Concept Laser LaserCUSING machines, including the Mlab cusing in this article, are available from ES Technology Limited.