3D Printers

Renishaw to launch four laser RenAM 500Q metal 3D printer

UK-based engineering firm Renishaw, has announced that it will be releasing a multi-laser additive manufacturing machine, the RenAM 500Q, at formnext 2017 in Frankfurt. The machine will be on display alongside a host of other new products for build chamber monitoring and material use aimed at broadening 3D printing applications, and adoption for serialised production.

Imagine this, only four times as fast. Single laser additive manufacturing demo on a AM250 laser melting machine. Clip via Renishaw plc on YouTube

Small footprint, big possibilities 

With four lasers, the RenAM 500Q makes the most of standard build chamber specifications, with an ability to build up to four pieces at the same time, or working simultaneously on a single part to significantly cut print time. Robin Weston, Marketing Manager at Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division, explains, “Multiple laser technology in a small footprint will broaden the appeal of additive manufacturing in new markets and applications.”

Key benefits of the system are highlighted as “substantial reduction in cost per part whilst maintaining the quality and precision offered by standard single laser systems.”

Single laser powder bed fusion

The system follows the release of Renishaw’s RenAM 500 machine, first seen a year ago at IMTS 2016. Powered using a single 500 W laser the RenAM 500, depending upon part geometry and material, is capable of building parts at a rate of up to 1.52 in3 per hour. It has a build volume of 9.8 in × 9.8 in × 13.8 in (X x Y x Z) and a maximum build size of
9.7 in × 9.7 in × 13.2 in.

The Renishaw RenAM 500M machine. Photo by Beau Jackson
The Renishaw RenAM 500M machine. Photo by Beau Jackson

Melt monitoring and new materials

In addition to the RenAM 500Q, Renishaw has developed a new process monitoring system. The system connects an in-chamber camera, laser sensors, a galvo electric current indicator and light-based mapping of the molten metal melt pool, enabling consistent procesing of 3D printed parts. InfiniAM software tools will also be showcased for their process monitoring and production planning features, and the company will present High Temperature Build Volume, “a new technology that enables manufacturers to build components from materials that are not currently feasible.”

Toward serialised manufacturing

Customers of Renishaw’s machines include bespoke bicycle maker Robot Bike Co., and HiETA Technologies Ltd., that is using additive to make heat exchangers.

With the new 500Q system, the company is hoping to provide solutions to customers seeking additive manufacturing for end-user parts. Weston concludes, “The technology is moving towards applications where it’s not just the technical benefits of AM that are attractive but also the production economics of using it in a serialised manufacturing process for high quality components.”

3D Printing Industry will be reporting live from Formnext from the 14th – 17th of November 2017. To be the first to hear about all the latest releases at the expo and other 3D printing events, subscribe to our free newsletter, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Featured image shows Renishaw metal 3D printed parts. Photo by Michael Petch for 3D Printing Industry