Lehrstuhl für Fertigungstechnologie, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Automated Layered Manufacturing with Metallic Foils ? System and Process Technology



Datum: 21.02.2006


Author


Reporter

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. mult. Dr.h.c. M. Geiger
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Fr.-W. Bach, Universität Hannover

For an enlargement of the technical boundaries in the field of injection moulding and thus economy the technology of automated metal foil LOM shows a very big potential. This new process chain can be divided into two main steps, the automatic manufacture of metal foil stacks, which means layer systems geometrical equivalent to the planned object, and the postprocessing. A 3d CAD model is transferred to a ?green part? after the slicing procedure by fixing each layer to the layer before followed by generating the contour. Both processes are realized with a laser beam, the first by spot welding and the second by cutting or ablation depending on how much space is below the contour which has to be produced. As the stability and the strength of such a foil stack is insufficient for any application the post-processing by diffusion welding serves to optimize the mechanical properties. The roughness of the resulting surface can be reduced by manual finishing. Research activities in the future should deal with three main issues: Enlargement of the system technology, improvement of the surface quality and optimization of the diffusion welding of complex geometries. Last but not least examinations on properties concerning the application in the field of mould making are necessary: Heat conductivity and its anisotropy, integrated hardening as well as suitability for polishing, etching and structuring.