3D Printers

Concept Laser Introduces new 3D Printer Platform for Titanium Manufacturing Applications

Concept Laser is expanding its range of industrial grade, metal 3D printers to include a new smaller platform for titanium applications. The new Mlab cusing R system has been developed by the company to allow economic fabrication of delicate dental products and medical implants and for medical instruments made from titanium.

According to Concept Laser, the small machines in the Mlab cusing family allow users to start off in the “flyweight class” of additive manufacturing with metals. Generally, since the Mlab cusing machines were introduced at the start of 2011, they have been opening up the market segment for small, complex components in economic terms. The new Mlab cusing R now also expands the previous range of materials to include titanium and titanium alloys. Titanium and its alloys are not easy materials to handle however, and to combat this Concept Laser has incorporated what it calls the “drawer principle” (patented) with a glovebox module for safe handling of the material without the risk of any contamination of the powdered materials. The Mlab cusing R is designed in accordance with ATEX directives for safe processing of reactive materials such as titanium and titanium alloys.

The Mlab cusing R offers high surface quality and the finest component structures where it matters with compact dimensions of 705 x 1848 x 1220 mm (WxHxD) coupled with a weight of 500 kg to maintain the economics of processing this material. The operating principle of the “drawer principle” is extremely practical and simple — the glovebox module is docked onto the machine for the loading and unloading process whereby the build module can simply be pulled out into the glovebox. The glovebox is then flooded with argon to inert the chamber, essential for safe titanium processing. The operator accesses the build chamber via the glovebox in order to carry out the loading process or to remove components. Subsequently, the build module is moved back into the machine and the glovebox can be undocked. It’s all about being user friendly.

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The drawer system is available in three different build envelope versions: 50 x 50, 70 x 70 and 90 x 90 mm, with the height of the build envelope always 80 mm. The drawer principle enables the use of different build envelopes in a machine. The user can easily exchange the drawers and this ensures flexibility while offering particular advantages when processing precious-metal alloys because their high material prices mean that it is advisable to use a smaller build envelope. In addition, it is easy to remove the drawers for the purpose of storing materials. Contamination of the powder with oxygen is ruled out because of the component structure in a closed system.

The robust and powerful 100 W fibre laser on the Mlab cusing R operates with a focus diameter of less than 25 µm in order to reproduce supreme surface qualities and intricate and delicate component structures as you can see from the images of parts produced on this system.

For medical and dental applications the Mlab cusing combines a high degree of freedom of geometry, quality and increased material density, as well as being an automated, generative production process that can run unattended — all advantageous characteristics when compared with the traditional casting methods. The Mlab cusing R has been developed to offer a viable and economic alternative to traditional methods for producing medical and dental applications that utilise titanium materials.

Via: Concept Laser