Filipe R. Coutinho, Product Development Engineer, ADIRA Metal-Forming Solutions S.A.
Tiago Faro, CTO, ADIRA Metal Forming Solutions S.A.
Additive Manufacturing is a new trend in processing technology, capable of changing the way we perceive engineering design. It is one of the precursors of a new industrial revolution for which metallic processing currently represents cutting-edge development. As the current market is yet expecting new alternatives for Metal Additive Manufacturing, a project involving both DED (Directed Energy Deposition) and PBF (Powder Bed Fusion) technologies was devised by the Portuguese company ADIRA, with the objective of solving the current challenges related to small processing volumes and lack of industrial productivity. A new Tiled Laser Melting (TLM) concept for sequential and segmented processing of a powder bed was developed, allowing for the production of parts with a larger volume than the smaller process chamber, therefore breaking the current dimensional boundaries concerning PBF technology. Additionally, besides the flexibility of this process, the versatility of the Direct Laser Processing (DLP), a modular approach to DED, was also explored. This process can be easily exchanged with laser-cutting, combining additive and subtractive capabilities. All these technologies were combined within a unique and experimental system, which serves as a suitable validation platform for these processes, allowing them to be escalated on future developments.