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06/10/2016|LASERTEC 65 3D

Unique interplay between technologies

In times when components are becoming increasingly more complex and more individual additive manufacturing processes, with their high degree of geometric freedom with regard to component design, rank as the future way out of the complexity trap. 

However, the technology is seen as slow, inaccurate and expensive; an attitude that has hitherto made its entry into the market difficult, especially in the metal machining sector. In the light of the above, the combination of laser deposition welding using a powder nozzle combined with machining opens up completely new perspectives. As a pioneer and trendsetter DMG MORI already offers not just one but two groundbreaking hybrid machines – the LASERTEC 65 3D and the LASERTEC 4300 3D.

In the field of additive manufacturing DMG MORI stands out from other suppliers in that the machine tool manufacturer uses powder deposition welding with laser, as it has long been used in principle for repair work in the tool making or engine technology branches. In this process the powder is melted onto the base material by the laser beam. Unlike other laser-based processes in additive manufacture that work according to the layer principle, whereby a component is built-up layer by layer from powder material. DMG MORI also builds up layer by layer, but only uses the powder where it is actually needed. This reduces the necessary quantity of powder significantly. Other advantages include the around ten times faster build-up of the material and simple integration into existing machine tools. This allows the integral combination of additive and machining manufacturing in a single setup, so DMG MORI can offer customers the best of both worlds.

DMG MORI has been offering a hybrid machine – the LASERTEC 65 3D – for quite a while now. Its basic design is similar to that of a classic 5-axis machine for high-precision milling operations with up to 5-axis simultaneous machining. For additive manufacturing the machine has been equipped with a 2.5 kW diode laser. So the machine is ideally suited for the complete hybrid production of components as well as for repair work and applying partial or full coatings, for tool and mould making, for example. This year, DMG MORI has expanded the additive manufacturing programme with the LASERTEC 4300 3D. This second hybrid machine will add the possibility of turning operations to laser deposition welding and 5-axis milling, so that rotation-symmetric components can now also be produced with the hybrid process. Equipped with a mirrored C-axis workpieces can also be machined on the rear side with the counter-spindle thus enabling in total 6-sided complete machining of the finished part. Not even longer workpieces present a problem, because in this case the lower tool turret supports the component during machining.

DMG MORI already installed numerous LASERTEC 65 3D in the market and meanwhile the expectations of the machine tool manufacturer but also of the customers get confirmed.
Nevertheless Friedemann Lell sees no standard procedure in additive manufacturing so far: “This would raise false expectations. Additive manufacturing, particularly in the range of metal processing, is a very complex procedure and its result is like nowhere else depending on a perfect interaction between machine, workpiece and process.”
One consequence for example is that for each material the complete process with all its parameters has to be developed new.
“We always accompany our customers intensively. Further on we cooperate very close with research institutes for workpiece and process development.”