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A Powerful Combination: Faster Print Speeds with Laser Beam Shaping and Engineered Materials

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Conference Abstract: Laser beam shaping is proving to have great potential for metal additive manufacturing. Equispheres, in collaboration with Aconity3D, has applied laser beam shaping and very high-powered lasers to push build rates for laser powder-bed fusion to new heights. The two companies have achieved single-laser production rates in excess of 430cm3/hr. This rate is about 9x greater than typical build rates currently being used in the industry.

L-PBF and aluminum are one of the most widely used combinations in metal additive manufacturing. This significant jump in throughput was achieved with commercially available technology, and will have a marked impact on industrial AM. Attendees will learn the parameters and components used to achieve this unprecedented build rate.

The presentation will cover productivity gains and overall build results from the joint Equispheres/Aconity3D project. Various beam shaping profiles and test results will be discussed.

The key components of this project are:

- Modern LPBF printer with a high degree of process control
- Advanced printing material able to maintain stable melt reactions when exposed to high laser power
- High-powered laser equipped with beam shaping technology

Laser beam shaping is used in other industries and is gaining traction in additive manufacturing due to its potential to improve processing speeds. It requires only minor modifications to the standard LPBF workflow and equipment.

Participants will also learn how the unique properties of an engineered powder contribute to stable melting behaviour and faster printing. The outcomes presented are based on results achieved with NExP-1, a best-in-class AlSi10Mg powder from Equispheres.