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laser used in metal 3D printer

Started by Jamie M November 17, 2014
Hi,

Here is an upcoming metal 3D printer that uses a laser for melting
metal powder layer by layer:

http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/18/matterfab/

Any idea on what type or even part# of laser this uses?  There are a
couple spots in the video with a close up of it, 5minutes in.

cheers,
Jamie

On Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:45:14 -0800, Jamie M wrote:

> Hi, > > Here is an upcoming metal 3D printer that uses a laser for melting metal > powder layer by layer: > > http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/18/matterfab/ > > Any idea on what type or even part# of laser this uses? There are a > couple spots in the video with a close up of it, 5minutes in.
I suspect CO2. I think that's mostly what's used for cutting metal & such, because it's easy & powerful. -- www.wescottdesign.com
Well, My NDA expired on the subject from 6 years ago. 400-1000 Watt Co2 in a inert atmosphere. Fiber lasers can be used with some metals.

The trick is not the laser, its the specialized lensing. 

Steve 
On 17/11/2014 18:39, sroberts6328@gmail.com wrote:
> Well, My NDA expired on the subject from 6 years ago. 400-1000 Watt Co2 in a inert atmosphere. Fiber lasers can be used with some metals. > > The trick is not the laser, its the specialized lensing. > > Steve >
Would it be possible to use a small flame? Much cruder and slower, I suppose, but probably cheaper. Just musing. How small can you make ox-acetylene anyway? Or CO and O2 perhaps to avoid making water. Cheers -- Syd
On 11/17/2014 1:39 PM, sroberts6328@gmail.com wrote:
> Well, My NDA expired on the subject from 6 years ago. 400-1000 Watt Co2 in a inert atmosphere. Fiber lasers can be used with some metals. > > The trick is not the laser, its the specialized lensing.
I haven't looked at the video. I assume the beam is invisible as CO2 lasers work in the infrared range. -- Rick
On 11/17/2014 11:29 AM, Syd Rumpo wrote:
> On 17/11/2014 18:39, sroberts6328@gmail.com wrote: >> Well, My NDA expired on the subject from 6 years ago. 400-1000 Watt >> Co2 in a inert atmosphere. Fiber lasers can be used with some metals. >> >> The trick is not the laser, its the specialized lensing. >> >> Steve >> > Would it be possible to use a small flame? Much cruder and slower, I > suppose, but probably cheaper. Just musing. How small can you make > ox-acetylene anyway? Or CO and O2 perhaps to avoid making water.
Using a small flame, at sub millimeter spot size has some similarities with a plasma or electron beam maybe. cheers, Jamie
> > Cheers
On 11/17/2014 10:39 AM, sroberts6328@gmail.com wrote:
> Well, My NDA expired on the subject from 6 years ago. 400-1000 Watt Co2 in a inert atmosphere. Fiber lasers can be used with some metals. > > The trick is not the laser, its the specialized lensing. > > Steve >
Hi, I'm interested in hearing about the pulse waveforms driving the laser and the laser pathing. From the video it looks somewhat similar to the pathing used for a filament based 3D printer maybe. Also the lensing, is the tricky part having the lens' redirect the beam down the XY axis or is it the final beam focusing (or both). Maybe a CO2 tube could be mounted vertically on the tool head, and a single focus lens can be used along with Z axis height adjustment to make the optical system simpler at the costof more weight on the tool head. What metals can fiber lasers work with? Also what is a good source of the metal powder and is it pretty homogenous in grain size/shape? Is there a way to make the powder, it sounds pretty expensive currently. Thanks for answering any of the above :D Oh ya where can I find a 400-1000W CO2 tube :) cheers, Jamie
On the systems I saw, beam positioning was galvanometer scanner  based with=
 a  F-Theta lens for focal plane correction. The object to be made sat in a=
 tank of argon, and a metal dust tornado" was swirled around the object to =
be sintered.
The lab I was in was making turbine blade prototypes from high temperature =
materials. As well as other rapid prototypes. These were later annealed in =
some fashion to become "single Crystal" metals. After SLS, they went into a=
 conventional oven to consolidate the sintering before further treatment.  =
No oxygen is allowed in, for obvious reasons.

I worked in a university laser lab at the time. We were given their castoff=
s as worn but usable  gear when they upgraded to better lasers. It kept us =
running another two years. Most fun I ever had loading a truck. As a treat(=
ment) I was given a tour of the SLS labs on site.

 Syd,=20
Flame spraying is used for very course deposition, and usually a plasma tor=
ch running inert gas is the source these days. Flam spraying is usually for=
 placing a hardening layer on a structural object or for building back up w=
orn spots on a shaft. It is very crude, resolution wise, and the target=20

On Monday, November 17, 2014 12:45:19 AM UTC-5, Jamie M wrote:
> Hi, > > Here is an upcoming metal 3D printer that uses a laser for melting > metal powder layer by layer: > > http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/18/matterfab/ > > Any idea on what type or even part# of laser this uses? There are a > couple spots in the video with a close up of it, 5minutes in. > > cheers, > Jamie
Having no idea, I would guess a diode laser. I think you want a really small spot size. A lot of heat in a small volume and something has to melt. George H.
On a sunny day (Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:57:39 -0800 (PST)) it happened George
Herold <gherold@teachspin.com> wrote in
<336bb6db-1a25-4a45-ac53-4c6cb101725d@googlegroups.com>:

>On Monday, November 17, 2014 12:45:19 AM UTC-5, Jamie M wrote: >> Hi, >> >> Here is an upcoming metal 3D printer that uses a laser for melting >> metal powder layer by layer: >> >> http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/18/matterfab/ >> >> Any idea on what type or even part# of laser this uses? There are a >> couple spots in the video with a close up of it, 5minutes in. >> >> cheers, >> Jamie > >Having no idea, I would guess a diode laser. I think you want a really small spot size. A lot of heat in a small volume and >something has to melt. > >George H.
There are several high power IR lasers modules on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/270918321913