A 3D geometrical shape appears seemingly out of thin air, when using the selective laser melting method.
The construction unit/component is built up ,out/made of a thin metal powder that is added, layer by layer (layer thickness 15-500 μm), by a single or several laser sources in a generative manner. This means that the powder is melted locally.
Layer for layer signifies firstly that the floor of the building space is lowered, then some powder is applied anew and finally it is once more/ again melted.
The material solidifies after it‘ s cool down. The contours of the component are then created by a deviation of the laser, done by mirror deflection (scanner). The different selective laser machines and installations have a variety of strategies to reduce the tension in construction components, depending on their constructor.
The range of materials extends from stainless steel or tool steel, aluminum and aluminum alloys including titanium and titanium alloys to chromium-cobalt-molybdenum alloys and alloys made of bronze, precious metal, nickel or copper.
The material powders that are employed generally usually originate from raw materials that are already officially approved, certified and integrated in classical production methods. Their density is at approximatively 99,9%.
The range of choices expands from small installations (construction space approx. 50×50 x 80 mm) up to large installations (construction space: 800×400×500 mm.).
If there is a demand for even greater components, alternative options could be assembly technologies.
For instance, construction speed, batch sizes and construction room size – are three fixed points of the AM method.