3D printer OEM Meltio has unveiled the latest version of its Meltio Engine, a modular 3D printing cell designed to integrate seamlessly with CNC machines, robotic arms, and gantry systems to enable hybrid manufacturing.
The new and improved engine has seen a number of upgrades since its initial presentation at Formnext 2019, and ultimately aims to fabricate fully dense metal parts in an affordable and accessible manner.
The Meltio Engine
The Engine’s latest iteration is characterized by its portability and unobtrusive footprint, with a frame measuring just 940 x 750 x 450mm, allowing for easy integration on any shop floor. The body of the unit comprises a dedicated on-board computer and a large integrated touchscreen with a comprehensive UI, enabling easy operation and process monitoring.
The device operates on the same proprietary wire- and powder-compatible Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) technology that drives the company’s M450 3D printer, which is Meltio’s take on the DED process. The LMD toolhead of the system, which is attached to the main body, utilizes multiple high-power lasers to melt the metal feedstock directly onto a substrate below, resulting in fully dense metal part production. Users opting for wire-based raw materials will benefit from the cleanliness as there is no need for specialized apparatus, whereas powder users have the ability to experiment with their own special alloy mixes.
Meltio has already tested its system with a number of materials, including stainless steel (common grades), Inconel (718 and 625), and Ti-6Al-4V (grades 5 and 23). The company has also stated that it is validating a whole host of other materials at its R&D facilities around the US and Europe, including but not limited to copper, aluminum, molybdenum, tungsten, X9, gold, and invar.
Breaking volumetric constraints
Aimed at SMEs and large corporations alike, the Meltio Engine is designed to fuse the benefits of LMD with large-format control systems to enable metal part production on previously unseen scales. Designs can go from concept to part in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks with conventional methods. Even if a component is partly traditionally manufacturing, the cost of production is kept to a minimum as both technologies are able to operate in the same machine, eliminating logistical concerns.
Ángel Llavero, CEO of Meltio, explains: “After the launch of the M450, the Meltio Engine moves the Meltio LMD to a new format with which it will solve one of the great historical limitations that additive manufacturing had: the ability to manufacture large parts. Now the part size is limited only by the capacity of the robot, the gantry, or the CNC in which the Meltio Engine is integrated.”
The new Meltio Engine supports a plethora of different configurations, depending on the needs and existing setup of the customer. As such, its price point fluctuates but the most basic configuration starts at €90,000, which is a fraction of the price of an entire DED system. Furthermore, to celebrate the device’s launch, Meltio will be offering a special promotional 5% early bird discount for any order received on or before December 15th, with deliveries set to begin next year.
Readers can learn more about Meltio at this exclusive panel discussion on 1st December. You can sign up here.
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Featured image shows the Meltio Engine 3D printing module. Photo via Meltio.