EOS is presenting M 100, a new system for DMLS (direct metal laser sintering), at this year's formnext show. In terms of process and parts quality, the system is equivalent to the EOS M 290 metal system.

Dr Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer at EOS said, "The EOS M 100 system offers proven DMLS quality and is also the ideal choice for those considering entry into additive manufacturing.

“With its small build volume, which is based on a round platform of 100 mm diameter, the system focuses on the cost-efficient production of small quantities. For example, it can produce approximately 70 dental crowns and bridges in three hours.

"The EOS M 100 system is currently able process two types of materials, specifically EOS CobaltChrome SP2 (CE-certified, CE 0537) and EOS StainlessSteel 316L, depending on the specific industry application. The next material to be made available for the system will be EOS Titanium Ti64."

Michael Keane, Manager of Technical Process Development at pilot customer Boston Scientific, added, "The EOS M100 adds to our portfolio of metal AM systems and equipment. We have found the ease of material handling and component changeover very beneficial. This has the potential to decrease set-up times, increase productivity and improve operator safety and ergonomics.”

The system features a 200 Watt fibre laser, which due to its beam quality and performance stability ensures optimum and consistent processing conditions, resulting in reproducible quality of the parts. This, plus a smaller laser spot with excellent detail resolution, makes it possible to produce high quality, highly complex and delicate components in the EOS M 100.

The system’s build space and an efficient recoating and exposure strategy reduce non-productive periods, which also contributes to efficient production of smaller quantities. Due to its modular interior structure, the system is quickly set up and dismantled. Materials can be replaced easily and maintenance performed quickly. The peripheral equipment minimises powder contact and is consistent with an industrial production process.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info/eos-m-100

Published in EOS

Additive manufacturing, including emerging “3D printing” technologies, is booming. Last year an astronaut on the International Space Station used a 3D printer to make a socket wrench in space, hinting at a future when digital code will replace the need to launch specialized tools into orbit. Here on Earth, the Navy is considering applications for additive manufacturing aboard ships, and a commercial aircraft engine company recently announced its first FAA-approved 3D-printed part. Despite its revolutionary promise, however, additive manufacturing is still in its infancy when it comes to understanding the impact of subtle differences in manufacturing methods on the properties and capabilities of resulting materials. Overcoming this shortcoming is necessary to enable reliable mass production of additively manufactured structures such as aircraft wings or other complex components of military systems, which must meet demanding specification requirements.

DARPA’s Open Manufacturing program seeks to solve this problem by building and demonstrating rapid qualification technologies that comprehensively capture, analyze and control variability in the manufacturing process to predict the properties of resulting products. Success could help unleash the potential time and cost saving benefits of advanced manufacturing methods for a broad range of defense and national security needs.

“The Open Manufacturing program is fundamentally about capturing and understanding the physics and process parameters of additive and other novel production concepts, so we can rapidly predict with high confidence how the finished part will perform,” said Mick Maher, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. “The reliability and run-to-run variability of new manufacturing techniques are always uncertain at first, and as a result we qualify these materials and processes using a blunt and repetitive ‘test and retest’ approach that is inevitably expensive and time-consuming, ultimately undermining incentives for innovation.”

The challenge with additively manufactured parts is that they are typically composed of countless micron scale weld beads piled on top of each other. Even when well known and trusted alloys are used, the additive process produces a material with a much different microstructure, endowing the manufactured part with different properties and behaviors than would be expected if the same part were made by conventional manufacturing. Moreover, parts made on different machines may be dissimilar enough from each other that current statistical qualification methods won’t work. Accordingly, each new material must be precisely understood and the new process controlled to ensure the required degree of confidence in the manufactured product.

To achieve this enhanced manufacturing control, Open Manufacturing is investigating rapid qualification technologies that could be applied not just to additive manufacturing but to any of a range of potentially new manufacturing methodologies. The program comprises three efforts two focusing on metal additive processes and one on bonded composite structures:

  • The Rapid Low Cost Additive Manufacturing (RLCAM) effort aims to use first-principles and physics-based modeling to predict materials performance for direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) using a nickel-based super alloy powder. In DMLS a laser melts the metal powder to additively build a 3D product.
  • The Titanium Fabrication (tiFAB) effort aims to combine physics and data based informatics models to determine key parameters that affect the quality of large manufactured structures, such as aircraft wings. tiFAB is a method that uses an electron beam instead of a laser to melt spool-fed titanium wire to build up a structure layer by layer.
  • The Transition Reliable Unitized Structure (TRUST) effort aims to develop data informatics approaches for quantification of the composite bonding process to enable adhesives alone to join composite structures. State-of-the-art techniques rely on mechanical fasteners in addition to adhesives. TRUST seeks to eliminate the reliance on these fasteners, thereby enabling bonded composites to take advantage of adhesive joining to streamline assembly and lighten the weight of the structures.


The Open Manufacturing program has established two Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities (MDFs); one at Penn State focused on additive manufacturing and the other at the Army Research Laboratory focused on bonded composites. The goal of these MDFs is to establish permanent reference repositories that endure long after the Open Manufacturing program concludes, where individuals can access various contributed approaches and processes models. The facilities also serve as testing centers to demonstrate applications of the technology being developed for the Department of Defense, its industrial base, and other agencies, and as a catalyst to accelerate adoption of the technology.

Open-Manufacturing also is developing several advanced manufacturing techniques to support defense needs. One of these, MicroFactory for MacroProducts, uses more than 1,000 microbots, each smaller than a penny, that zip around like small insects to efficiently assembly truss structures. Microbots have fabricated 12-inch truss structures with integrated electronics as a proof-of-concept, showing the potential for massive parallelism where thousands of microbots could simultaneously and efficiently build intricate truss structures. This technology could be applied to rapid production of advanced electronics for military systems or constructing wings for very small unmanned aerial systems, for example.

To support warfighters, the program is also demonstrating a framework for affordable, rapid manufacturing of customized orthoses, such as leg supports for injured veterans, in quantities of one. This effort would transform the current “artisan” approach for making customized orthoses—where each device is custom-crafted by a specialist—to an automated process allowing greater patient access, rapid device modifications and improved durability.

Another concept being advanced is seamstress-less sewing, which could enable rapid production of U.S. military uniforms in the United States at lower cost. This demonstrated robotic system uses computer vision to accurately and quickly sew fabrics together with fine thread-count precision. Beyond its potential to support cost-efficient fabrication of U.S. military uniforms in the United States, this technology has the potential to boost the domestic apparel industry in general by, for example, enabling customized apparel production directly from a design.

“Historically, U.S. military advantages were supplied by breakthroughs in materials and manufacturing,” Maher said. “More recently, the risks that come along with new manufacturing have caused a lack of confidence that has stifled adoption. Through the Open Manufacturing program, DARPA is empowering the advanced manufacturing community by providing the knowledge, control, and confidence to use new technology."

For more information, visit: www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/DSO/Programs/Open_Manufacturing_%28OM%29.aspx

Published in DARPA

GPI Prototype, located in Lake Bluff, IL, recently announced the completion of a facility expansion to double office space, accommodating new staff brought in to handle the rapid growth experienced at GPI. In addition, existing warehouse space has been remodeled to accommodate six more direct metal machines.

Historically focused on building metal prototypes, GPI has been growing the portion of its business dedicated to additive manufacturing. In preparation for this strategic commitment, GPI added two key individuals to its production and engineering departments in 2014. The team was strengthened by the addition of a metallurgical engineer as well as a metals applications engineer. This engineering strength is spearheading R&D and production capabilities on all DMLM machines.

To further support the growth of its metal additive manufacturing services, GPI has been adding to its production capacity. In 2014, GPI acquired two new direct metal machines. These machines are dedicated to the production of aluminum parts. GPI is currently one of the few companies offering production parts with AlSi12 aluminum on a ProX300.  Growth continues for GPI, especially with the scheduled delivery of a new EOS M290 in June.

In response to increased opportunities from the aerospace and medical industries, GPI recently went through the rigor of certification for AS9100:2009RevC, ISO 13485:2003, ISO 9001:2008 and is a registered ITAR facility. These certifications provide GPI with the standardized processes used to create quality products and meet regulatory requirements. During the course of certifications, GPI created an Internal Management System, providing assurances in all manufacturing processes. Requirements include internal audits, record keeping, process procedures and monitoring, management reviews and corrective and preventative action plans.

In more recent news, GPI is making a change in upper management. Scott Galloway, Founder and President, will take on the new role of CEO. Adam Galloway, has been promoted from VP Sales and Marketing and has assumed the role as President of GPI. Adam joined the company in 2003 and has been an integral member of the management team at GPI for the past eight years. “It is exciting to be part of a company that is not afraid to take risks and realize when diversification is necessary to sustain strong growth. GPI started out specializing in prototypes. As we’ve continued to make giant steps forward, the production capabilities we offer today continue to allow GPI to reach higher levels within the AM industry,” – Adam Galloway.

Published in GPI Prototype

A patient in Argentina required a particularly large cranial implant after stroke-related surgery, placing stringent requirements on the manufacture of the prosthetic. Naturally it needed to fit precisely, but in this case it also had to be permeable to allow brain fluid to pass through. Minimal heat conduction to the cerebral tissue was important, especially in a sunny climate. Additionally, biocompatibility was needed to allow the bone to grow into the edges of the implant.

A titanium alloy lattice structure secured by screws directly into the skull was deemed to be ideal. It was additively manufactured layer by layer from metal powder in a machine produced by German firm, EOS, whose UK subsidiary is on the Warwick Technology Park.

The one-and-a-half-hour surgical procedure was carried out successfully in May last year (2014). The patient left hospital after two days and the wound healed within three weeks. Since that time there have been no complications and the patient has been able to lead a normal life.

Several stringent mechanical requirements had to be met to ensure a successful result and technological advances in additive manufacturing allowed them to be achieved. The pores in the implant are approximately 1 mm across, while the links are about 0.2 mm thick, resulting in 95 percent porosity. To achieve such a fine mesh in a rigid structure to tight dimensional and profile tolerances would be impracticable using conventional, subtractive production techniques.

Time was of the essence in producing the implant. The process was started by Novax DMA in Buenos Aires, which specialises in developing and supplying medical implants for traumatology, orthopaedics and craniofacial surgery. For the 3D design of the implant, software was employed from UK company, Within, which allowed the basic form and porous structure to be defined quickly.

As soon as the CAD work was completed, Alphaform AG, near Munich, manufactured the implant in a matter of hours in an EOSINT M 280 metal additive manufacturing machine from EOS. The implant was in the operating theatre less than three weeks later, with transportation consuming one-third of that time.

Christoph Erhardt, Director of Additive Manufacturing at Alphaform, commented, “We had already successfully completed many additively manufactured products in the EOS system.

“However, we are particularly proud of this implant, not only because of the precise realisation of the form, but also because we were able to optimise the porous structure and the difficult process of cleaning the small interior spaces.

“We developed a multi-step process of abrasive and mechanical cleaning, rinsing and ultrasonics to arrive at the required level of medical purity, which is vital as particles can dislodge with the slightest movement, leading to the possibility of infections or rejection.”

The level of cleanliness was verified by extensive tests, including particle and cytotoxicity testing. Gas-chromatography analysis was also performed. Other tests confirmed that the implant fulfilled the necessary requirements to stabilise and protect the patient's skull.

Daniel Fiz, CEO of Novax DMA, added, “We have been supplying medical implants since 1995. Additive manufacturing represents a new milestone for patients. It offers optimal biomedical characteristics together with the highest levels of compatibility, thereby having a lasting effect on improved quality of life.

“For these reasons, we have applied the technology with success to other areas of the body. Alphaform has also manufactured jaw implants for us, as well as a hip joint and a spinal implant. For the latter, we are currently considering series production using additive manufacturing.”

Christoph Erhardt concluded, “For us, additive manufacturing and EOS are synonymous. We have already produced an enormous number of parts for many companies. Both we and our customers are continually amazed by the application possibilities and the high-quality production that can be achieved.

“That was once again the case here. We were able to help a person to live a normal life, on an ongoing basis, despite their having suffered a very serious injury.”

Published in EOS

The University of California, San Diego chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS@UCSD) conducted two hotfire tests of their second 3D printed rocket engine on April 18, 2015 at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry test facility in the Mojave Desert.

The rocket engine, named Ignus, was sponsored by and completely metal 3D printed at the facilities of GPI Prototype in Lake Bluff, IL. The rocket engine utilized liquid oxygen and kerosene as its propellants and was designed to achieve 750 lbf of thrust, a stepping stone in the club’s goal of producing larger and more powerful rocket engines. The design and testing of this engine is part of a larger project for the students guided and mentored by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center along with Dr. Forman Williams of UCSD.

As members of UC San Diego’s Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, leaders of the club were encouraged to pursue tough and challenging projects to prepare them for their lives post-graduation.

The engine was the product of a year and a half of work that the students put in to design and fabricate both the engine and the test system. This is the students’ most notable headline since they made national news with the first test of a 3D printed engine by a university, in October 2013.

“Seeing the engine roar to life was real validation to the thousands of man hours and sleepless nights designing, building, and preparing the rocket engine and the test stand. It was a testament to our determination and passion for space technologies”, said Deepak Atyam, Club President and Gordon Fellow.

“We aim to align our research so it is compatible with the needs of the aerospace industry. 3D printing has significant benefits including huge cuts to the cost, time to fabricate, and weight of rocket engines.”

The SEDS chapter conducted this research with the support of various organizations including GPI Prototype, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Lockheed Martin, the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, and XCOR Aerospace.

Jeremy Voigt, design and test engineer at XCOR, assisted with the testing procedures and explained “There are not many people that can do what they have done, let alone as students, in regards to successfully test firing an engine on the first try. They not only accomplished that, but did it twice in one day, and with the new technology of 3D printing. That’s nothing short of amazing.”

Ignus is the first engine that was tested in a series of hot fires of different engine designs that the club plans to do in a lead up to their eventual rocket launch later this year at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. The competition will be held in Green River, Utah June 24-27, 2015. That rocket, named Vulcan1, would be one of the first rockets powered by a 3D printed engine in the world. In order to fund the fabrication and launch of their rocket, the students have launched a KickStarter campaign.

The club would like to personally thank Carl Tedesco of Flometrics; Jeremy Voigt, Patrick Morrison, and Tony Busalacchi of XCOR Aerospace; and Wyatt Rehder of Masten Space Systems for their help during the testing procedures.

For more information, visit: seds.ucsd.edu or www.3d-rocket.com

Cooksongold, part of the Heimerle + Meule Group together with strategic partner EOS, has announced the launch of the PRECIOUS M 080 Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS™) system at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2014. Dr. Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at EOS states: “This Additive Manufacturing (AM) process introduces an innovative and paradigm shifting technology to the luxury goods industry. With Cooksongold we found the perfect partner for the extension of our technology into this industry. Additive Manufacturing paves the way for a completely new approach towards design and manufacturing, enabling the design-driven manufacturing the industry has long been searching for.”

With AM, Cooksongold will support the most demanding jewelry brands in the creation of entirely new product lines that meet their high quality standards. David Fletcher, European Product Manager at Cooksongold, explains: “Utilizing the power of 3D CAD design, DMLS technology will challenge a designer’s imagination and enable the creation of jewelry and watch components that previously would have been impossible to successfully manufacture. AM will change the economics of producing watch and jewelry products by offering a streamlined manufacturing process that dramatically reduces the time required from design conception to final part realization. DMLS will also enable the production of design driven pieces that are not limited by the restrictions of conventional production techniques such as lost wax casting, eliminating many process steps and costs that we normally encounter.”

At Cooksongold, product and service offerings will range from the sale and installation of a PRECIOUS M 080 machine and the supporting supply chain for jewelry and watch production including licenses, Advanced Metal Powder, and software and training. Cooksongold will also provide consultation for a DMLS-driven design process and bureau service production of bespoke precious metal parts.

The PRECIOUS M 080 system is equipped with a 100-watt fiber laser, providing exceptional beam quality and power stability. This guarantees optimum and consistent processing conditions for highest quality part building. The system has a small spot size with excellent detail resolution allowing the creation of even the finest structures.

It is designed to ensure maximum accountability of the precious metal powder used in the process. The system also enables a quick turnaround between jobs and materials via its unique cartridge-based system which includes an extraction cartridge for easy removal of powder. The PRECIOUS M 080 has an 80 mm diameter round build platform with a working stroke of 95 mm (high, including building platform). The Advanced Metal Powders produced by Cooksongold have been optimized to match the performance of the Precious M 080 system, ensuring that customers can start building parts immediately upon machine installation. Currently the system can build parts using a variety of gold alloys and future development of additional materials to meet customer requirements is planned.

During the design process, it is key that customers design with the capabilities of DMLS in mind and that they follow some critical design guidelines in order to achieve the best results. This will enable designers to produce pieces previously unachievable by conventional production methods. A copy of the design guidelines can be accessed via the Cooksongold DMLS website.

Cooksongold will provide clients with detailed and fully comprehensive training packages for PRECIOUS M 080 machine operation and designing for DMLS. Training can either take place at the Cooksongold production & technical facility in Birmingham, UK prior to installation or at a client’s facility after machine installation.

EOS and Cooksongold recommend familiarizing yourself with the capabilities of the process first. For this, Cooksongold has introduced a number of offers which are available for potential system purchase customers and bureau service customers. This will enable clients to test DMLS with their designs to begin to understand the benefits of the technology.

For more information, visit: www.cooksongold-emanufacturing.com

Published in EOS

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announced today that it has completed qualification testing for the SuperDraco thruster, an engine that will power the Dragon spacecraft’s launch escape system and enable the vehicle to land propulsively on Earth or another planet with pinpoint accuracy.

The qualification testing program took place over the last month at SpaceX’s Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. The program included testing across a variety of conditions including multiple starts, extended firing durations and extreme off-nominal propellant flow and temperatures.

The SuperDraco is an advanced version of the Draco engines currently used by SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to maneuver in orbit and during re-entry. SuperDracos will be used on the crew version of the Dragon spacecraft as part of the vehicle’s launch escape system; they will also enable propulsive landing on land.  Each SuperDraco produces 16,000 pounds of thrust and can be restarted multiple times if necessary.  In addition, the engines have the ability to deep throttle, providing astronauts with precise control and enormous power.

The SuperDraco engine chamber is manufactured using state-of-the-art direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), otherwise known as 3D printing.  The chamber is regeneratively cooled and printed in Inconel, a high-performance superalloy that offers both high strength and toughness for increased reliability.

“Through 3D printing, robust and high-performing engine parts can be created at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional manufacturing methods,” said Elon Musk, Chief Designer and CEO.  “SpaceX is pushing the boundaries of what additive manufacturing can do in the 21st century, ultimately making our vehicles more efficient, reliable and robust than ever before.”

Unlike previous launch escape systems that were jettisoned after the first few minutes of launch, SpaceX’s launch system is integrated into the Dragon spacecraft.  Eight SuperDraco engines built into the side walls of the Dragon spacecraft will produce up to 120,000 pounds of axial thrust to carry astronauts to safety should an emergency occur during launch.

As a result, Dragon will be able to provide astronauts with the unprecedented ability to escape from danger at any point during the ascent trajectory, not just in the first few minutes.  In addition, the eight SuperDracos provide redundancy, so that even if one engine fails an escape can still be carried out successfully.

The first flight demonstration of the SuperDraco will be part of the upcoming pad abort test under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities (CCiCap) initiative. The pad abort will be the first test of SpaceX’s new launch escape system and is currently expected to take place later this year.

For more information, visit: www.spacex.com

Published in SpaceX

EOS, the technology and market leader in design-driven, integrated e-manufacturing solutions in the field of Additive Manufacturing (AM), will be exhibiting its products at its stand at this year‘s Rapid.Tech, on May 14-15 in Erfurt. At stand 2-301 in Hall 2, the company will be displaying its brand-new EOS M 290 system, the successor to the established and market-leading EOSINT M 280, designed for the tool-free production of high-quality serial components, spare parts and prototypes. With a build volume of 250 mm x 250 mm x 325 mm, the EOS M 290 permits flexible and economic manufacturing of metal components.

Dr. Adrian Keppler, CMO at EOS stresses, “EOS has incorporated proven elements from the M 280 system generation in the new EOS M 290, but at the same time, the EOS M 290 also allows us to set new standards in Additive Manufacturing while expanding our product portfolio for metal applications and extending our innovation leadership in terms of quality management and monitoring. This new system is designed to serve the requirements of our serial-production customers. At the same time, we have also created new optimisation potential in terms of build quality for customers from the prototyping space.” Despite all the innovations that have been incorporated in the EOS M 290, its central processing elements have been retained: process chamber, gas stream, process parameters, etc. This ensures constant process behaviour and in turn consistent component quality beyond the EOSINT M 280 and EOS M 290.

Extensive quality management, expanded monitoring functions, EOSTATE

The new EOS M 290 offers extensive monitoring functions both for the system itself and for monitoring the build process. This adds even more extensive quality assurance to the field of Additive Manufacturing. In particular, it makes the system attractive for industrial applications in the aerospace industry as well for medical applications. With the aid of EOSTATE PowderBed, a camera built into the process chamber monitors the powder bed, following powder deposition and exposure, by means of still images. EOSTATE Base ensures the consistent monitoring of a range of parameters, including the position of the Z axis or scanner, laser power, air humidity, temperature and pressure. Finally, EOSTATE LaserMonitoring measures the laser power throughout the entire build period.

Flexible components and extensive accessories

The system is equipped with a 400 Watt laser, which is characterised by its high radiation quality and stability of performance. The EOS M 290 can be operated under an inert (nitrogen) atmosphere or under argon, which permits processing of a great breadth of materials. These include light alloys, stainless and tool-grade steels, and superalloys. The EOS parameter sets ensure that parts can be manufactured with standardised property profiles, resulting in a broad spectrum of applications. As with the previous model, EOS also supplies its EOS M 290 customers with the EOS ParameterEditor, to allow them to modify a range of exposure parameters for themselves. The tool enables customers to develop their own parameters for specific applications on the basis of the EOS parameter sets. These include laser power and exposure speed or strategy. A new version of the Parameter Editor is currently under development, which will also allow modification of layer thickness, inert gas stream, build platform temperature, and skip layers.

High level of user friendliness, optimised process gas management, intuitive software

The EOS M 290 has been rendered even more user friendly thanks to the new EOSYSTEM machine software, which allows intuitive and task-oriented operation of the system via a graphic user interface, which was developed especially for production environments. In addition, an operator assistant is included which guides the user through the program. The new EOSPRINT Desktop Software allows jobs to be prepared and computed directly at the workplace, separately from the build process. The job file can then be transferred through the network to the system, which can then concentrate fully on building the part. Thanks to the availability of offline job preparation, complex parts with large job files can be processed quickly. This in turn improves the flexibility of the application development process.

Process gas management has also been optimised. The EOS M 290 is fitted with an air circulation filter which itself is equipped with an automatic self-cleaning function. This considerably increases the filters operating life, with the result that they require less frequent replacement. It also reduces filter costs.

The solution portfolio for the EOS M 290 also includes data preparation software, component handling devices, and extensive services.

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Germany, EOS is the technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM), an industrial 3D printing process. EOS offers a modular solution portfolio including systems, software, materials and material development as well as services (maintenance, training, specific application consulting and support). As an industrial manufacturing process it allows the fast and flexible production of high-end parts based on 3D CAD data at a repeatable industry level of quality. As a disruptive technology it paves the way for a paradigm shift in product design and manufacturing. It accelerates product development, offers freedom of design, optimizes part structures, and enables lattice structures as well as functional integration. As such, it creates significant competitive advantages for its customers.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info/eos_m_290_metal_additive_manufacturing_system

Published in EOS

EOS is presenting the new EOS M 400 at Euromold 2013. The new modular and extendable system gears additive manufacturing up for application in industrial production environments. The system enables the manufacture of larger components with an increased level of automation. In addition, the EOS M 400 delivers improved quality assurance and is easier to use, thereby answering key requirements of our series production customers. The commercialization of the basic model begins in the spring of 2014, with the global distribution planned from the summer.

“EOS is pursuing a platform-based strategy for the metal technology and is able to support its customers from the research and development phase, through to the series production. The EOS M 400 represents the key to the industrial series utilization of Additive Manufacturing. If the EOSINT M 270 and EOSINT M 280 models have set the technical benchmarks, then the EOS M 400 takes these a step further. The new system supports users not only in the context of its qualification for production, but also in actual manufacturing applications. “We won't be drawing the line at a single solution. We will be expanding the platform with successive performance modules”, says Adrian Keppler, Managing Director at EOS.

The EOS M 400 is based on a modular concept and is initially available with both set-up, and process stations. Within a year, an automated unpacking station will also be on offer. With this extension of the system, an exchangeable frame, including components and residual powder, is moved, following the build process, from the process station to the unpacking station. Here, the job will quickly be cleaned of all loose and excess powder by way of a clean-up program comprising rotation and vibration. The modular concept makes it possible to incorporate the unpacking station retroactively to expand on the set-up and process stations. Users thereby gain a future oriented e-manufacturing solution designed for application-specific, modular extension.

A further key innovation of the EOS M 400 is the volume of the building chamber, which measures 400x400x400 mm so that larger components can now be produced. The first extension to the basic model, with its corresponding processes, will initially be offered with the EOS Aluminum AlSi10Mg and EOS NickelAlloy IN718 materials and is thereby particularly suited for use in the automobile and aerospace sectors. Processes for further materials are still in the development phase, including both tool steel and titanium.

In the EOS M 400 the laser has a performance of up to 1,000 watts. It allows the use of new materials that require more powerful lasers. A new user interface with touchscreen, developed out of talks with many customers, further simplifies the system usability. The complete handling has been optimized. Additionally, the filter from the air filtration system is automatically cleaned and has a significantly longer use-life. EOS has also further optimized both the monitoring and reporting functions, enabling the user to enjoy advancements in quality control. All of these innovations are aimed at meeting the requirements of series production and represent a further important step in making this a reality.

From 2015, EOS is planning to offer in addition to the EOS M 400 the EOS M 400-4 which will come with four lasers. While the single-laser version opens the way for the development of new applications, the focus of the multi-mode variant lies in achieving productivity increases of qualified production processes that have been already achieved for the EOSINT M 280.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info/systems_solutions/metal/systems_equipment/eos_m_400

Published in EOS

EADS Innovation Works (IW), the aerospace and defense group's research and technology organisation, is always on the look-out for new manufacturing methods. A recent target for evaluation was an additive manufacturing process called Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS).

Developed by EOS, it is being used by EADS IW to manufacture demonstration parts to explore the benefits of optimised design and production sustainability. Protection of the environment is a key driver, while a reduction in the costs of manufacturing and operating its aerospace products also underlies the group’s research.

As quality, costs and environmental effects play a major role in the decision-making process for design and manufacturing solutions, EADS IW has defined new Technology Readiness Level (TRL) criteria focusing on sustainability. Nine TRL processes must be passed at EADS before a technology can be qualified for use in production. For each TRL review, a technology's level of maturity is evaluated in terms of performance, engineering, manufacturing, operational readiness, value and risk. For each of these criteria, new components must out-perform existing ones.

The results from the initial joint study of AM were evaluated in terms of CO2 emissions, energy and raw material efficiency and recycling. When analysing energy consumption, the company's investigation included not only the production phase, but also the sourcing and transportation of raw materials, argon consumption for the atomisation of the DMLS metal powder, and overall waste from atomisation.

An assessment by EADS IW highlighted, amongst other things, the potential cost and sustainability benefits of DMLS during the operational phase in the redesign of Airbus A320 nacelle hinge brackets. The data was backed up by test results from EOS and, in an additional step, by test results from a raw material (powder) supplier.

In the first instance, cast steel nacelle hinge brackets were compared to an additively manufactured (AM) bracket of optimised titanium design by measuring the energy consumption over the whole life cycle. The technology turned out to be a good fit for the design optimisation, as for this application the operational phase is typically 100 times more important than the static phases (e.g. manufacturing the part).

A comparison was made between manufacturing the optimised titanium component by rapid investment casting and on an EOS platform. Energy consumption for the life cycle of the bracket, including raw material manufacture, the production process and the end-of-life phase, is slightly smaller on the EOS platform compared with rapid investment casting. The main advantage of the EOS technology, however, is that the additive process uses only the amount of material for manufacture that is in the product itself. Thus consumption of raw material can be reduced by up to 75 per cent.

The study focused on the comparison between DMLS and rapid investment casting of a single part and did not take into account the question of scalability, which has yet to be addressed. However, some impressive results were documented.

The optimised design of the nacelle hinge bracket allowed EADS and EOS to demonstrate the potential to reduce the weight per aircraft by approximately 10 kg – a significant amount in aviation. CO2 emissions as a result of the brackets were reduced by almost 40 per cent over their life cycle by optimising the design, despite the fact that the EOS technology uses significantly more energy during manufacture.

Jon Meyer at EADS IW said, “DMLS has demonstrated a number of benefits, as it can support design optimisation and enable subsequent manufacture in low volume production.

"In general, the joint study revealed that DMLS has the potential to build light, sustainable parts with due regard to our company’s CO2 footprint.

"A key driver of the study was the integrated and transparent cooperation between customer and supplier, with an open approach that saw an unprecedented level of information sharing.

"The collaboration has set the standard for future studies involving the introduction and adoption of new technologies and processes.

"Even after the first positive results were evident, neither of the parties settled for the outcome, but continued to investigate options for further improvement.”

Part of the project's success was due to continued efforts towards further enhancements, evidenced by the swapping of the EOSINT M 270 DMLS machine for an EOSINT M 280 using titanium instead of steel, which led to additional CO2 savings. The technology has the potential to make future aircraft lighter, leading to savings in resources which help to meet sustainability goals, without compromising on safety.

Jon Meyer, ALM Research Team Leader at EADS IW, added, “We see several advantages in the use of DMLS, mainly concerning freedom of design and ecological aspects.

"We can optimise structures and integrate dedicated functionality, in addition to which DMLS can significantly reduce sites’ CO2 footprints, as our study with EOS demonstrated.

“Furthermore, considering ecology and design together, optimised structures can result in reduced CO2 emissions due to weight reduction. I see tremendous potential in DMLS technology for future aircraft generations, when it comes to both development and manufacturing.”

For more information, visit: www.eos.info or www.eads.com

Published in EOS

A group of engineering students at the University of California, San Diego tested a 3D-printed rocket engine made out of laser sintered metal at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry testing site in the Mojave Desert.

To build the engine, students used a proprietary design that they developed. The engine was primarily financed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and was printed by Illinois-based GPI Prototype and Manufacturing Services using direct metal laser sintering. This is the first time a university has produced a 3D printed liquid fueled metal rocket engine, according to the students, who are members of the UC San Diego chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

“We’ve all been working so hard, putting countless hours to ensure that it all works,” said Deepak Atyam, the organization’s president. “If all goes well, we would be the first entity outside of NASA to have tested a liquid fueled rocket motor in its entirety. We hope to see all of our hard work come to fruition.”

The engine was designed to power the third stage of a rocket carrying several NanoSat-style satellites with a mass of less than a few pounds each. The engine is about 6 to 7 inches long and weighs about 10 lbs. It is designed to generate 200 lbs of thrust and is made of cobalt and chromium, a high-grade alloy. It runs on kerosene and liquid oxygen and cost $6,800 to manufacture, including $5,000 from NASA. The rest was raised by students through barbeque sales and other student-run fundraisers.

A 3D printed metal rocket engine would dramatically cut costs for launches, said Forman Williams, a professor of aerospace engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, who is the students’ advisor. Williams admits that he was skeptical at first as the design of liquid-propellant rockets is very complex and detailed, but the students surprised him.

For more information, visit: seds.ucsd.edu



EOS is introducing two new plastic materials and one metal material for industrial 3D printing. PrimePart ST (PEBA 2301), a soft, flexible, and elastic material, belongs to the group of thermoplastic elastomers and is available immediately for EOSINT P 395 systems. In the coming months, availability will be extended to the EOS FORMIGA P 110 and EOSINT P 760 systems. PrimePart® FR (PA 2241 FR) is a flame-retardant Polyamide 12 and is available now for both the current EOSINT P 395 and P 760 systems, as well as for the EOSINT P 390 and P 730. EOS NickelAlloy HX is their new heat and corrosion resistant nickel-chrome-iron-molybdenum alloy.

PrimePart® ST: Characteristics and Potential Applications

Possessing an elongation at break of two hundred percent, together with a good elastic restorative capacity and rebound elasticity PrimePart® ST was developed to support the production of flexible, rubber-like parts. The optimized design ensures that parts will return to their original shape, even after significant deformations. Post-production infiltration is not necessary for achieving the excellent mechanical properties and surface qualities. In the temperature range of -40 to 90°C the material demonstrates a very good fatigue performance. If desired, it supports many post-production options for treating the manufactured part, including roto-finishing, flame-treatment, flocking, paint finishing, and smoothing. This facilitates the realization of specialized surface-finishes that meet the specific and varied requirements of customers.

One key sphere of application is in the manufacture of sporting goods: In the production of winter sport accessories, such as impact protectors, the resilience of the material opens up a broad range of possibilities. Another potential application is in the consumer-goods sector, particularly in housings where there exists the risk of breakage through falling, being-dropped, and other instances of impact. Within industry, the automobile sector is one of many potential users: Fitting accessories such as grips, corner/edge, and paintwork protectors can be realized, as are, for example, soft door-lock components. Medical applications would include instrument-grips as well as significant applications in orthopedic technology. In addition, the material is suitable for the manufacture of, for example, hoses, grips and handles, or flexible cable holders and sheaths, across the spectrum if industrial production.

PrimePart® FR for the Aerospace Sector

The new flame-retardant material is especially suitable for application in the aerospace sector. PrimePart® FR (PA 2241 FR) is a flame-retardant Polyamide 12 for processing on the EOSINT P 3xx and P 7xx systems. This replenishable material – the recommendation is to use at least 60 percent new powder - meets the relevant flame-proof requirements at wall thicknesses of just 1.0 mm. The replenishability significantly cuts the costs of part manufacturing. In addition, the material demonstrates improved mechanical properties: A tensile strength of 49 MPa with an elongation at break of fifteen percent. This means that PrimePart® FR exceeds the extremely successful PA 2210 FR, which, until now was the only flame-retardant PA 12 material in the EOS portfolio. Typical applications in the field of airplane interiors would include ventilation ducts and outlet vents.

“With these plastic materials we are reacting to two needs that our customers have brought more and more to our attention - the provision of materials that allow for new applications, while keeping a firm eye on cost-efficiencies. The soft, rubber-like PrimePart® ST has received euphoric feedback from our test-customers, which bodes well for the material's introduction to the market. It's a similar story with PrimePart® FR. The rising cost pressures in the aerospace sector and the increasing demand for light-weight parts mean that PrimePart® FR is ideally suited for meeting today's requirements”, summarizes Fabian Müller, Product Marketing Manager Polymers at EOS.

EOS NickelAlloy HX

EOS is also expanding its portfolio of metal materials with the immediate commercial introduction of EOS NickelAlloy HX. The heat and corrosion resistant nickel-chrome-iron-molybdenum alloy distinguishes itself through a high degree of strength and its resistance to oxidization, even at high temperatures. For this reason it will see frequent application in temperatures up to the region of 1,200ºC. The material is optimized for processing in the EOSINT M 280 metal system, and is typically processed with a layer-thickness of 20 µm.

Christiane Krempl, Product Marketing Manager Metals decribes the potential application for the alloy: “The material is particularly well suited for deployment in applications that are exposed to high thermal forces giving rise to a significant risk of oxidization. Typical areas of deployment that we are seeing include aerospace, for example, with combustion chambers and their components parts. The material is also ideal for use in heating elements, in conveyor ovens, or industrial blast furnaces.”

Andreas Graichen, Product Developer (Gas Turbines) at Siemens Energy adds: “We use EOS' additive manufacturing process for constructing prototypes, for 'rapid manufacturing', and 'rapid repair'. Thanks to this technology we are able to cut repair times and thereby reduce costs for customers commissioning us in the repair of industrial gas turbines. In the construction process we use the Nickel Alloy HX. Its material properties make it ideally suited for repair works, as it is able to withstand the high temperatures to which the gas turbines are constantly exposed. For the repair, the complete burner is brought into the tailor-made EOS-Metal System: We leave the structure intact, remove the outer 20mm, and then simply print a new combustion-head. This process ensures significant savings both in terms of repair times and costs.”

Parts build from EOS NickelAlloy HX can be subsequently heat-treated in order to partially modify the characteristics of the material. Whether hardened or in their original built form, parts can be finished as required, and surplus unexposed material can be re-used.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info/systems_solutions

Published in EOS

Three-dimensional printing technology is now being used in a University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus laboratory, thanks to a $600,000 capital equipment grant from the Veterans Administration. The CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus / VA Biomechatronics Development Laboratory is home to a cutting-edge 3D printer: a metal laser sintering machine.

Richard Weir, Ph.D., a leading researcher in robotic technology for arm amputees, said the fabricator will allow his research team to develop better components -- created faster and less costly -- for prosthetic fingers, hands and arms. Weir, an associate research professor in the Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science, also envisions creating a prototyping center as a resource for other university and VA researchers.

"It's a whole new way of thinking about how to make things," Weir said. "... The revolutionary aspect is to be able to do stuff that you can't using conventional technology. There is the possibility to fabricate impossible-to-machine components and to explore whether that confers advantage to the designs we're working on."

While 3D plastic printers have been available for many years, metal printing is still "a very nascent technology," Weir said. He estimates that only a couple dozen of the devices -- called direct metal laser-sintering machines and built by German-based EOS e-Manufacturing Solutions -- are being used in the United States, mostly for biomedical and aeronautical applications.

Weir first saw a 3D metal rapid prototype machine being used to create cranial implants -- custom titanium plates in the shape of the human skull -- at a laboratory at North Carolina State University. "When I saw that I said, 'I want one of those.'"

He got his wish in 2011 when the VA, well aware of Weir's pioneering research that could benefit veteran amputees, funded, through a Capital Equipment Grant, the purchase of one of these machines. His lab had already been using a 3D plastic printer, but a metal prototyping machine dramatically expands the horizons for their prosthetic designs.

"That's what we have a need for when we're building our small hands," said Weir, whose Implantable MyoElectric Sensors work will be tested in clinical trials this spring. "We have all of these tiny parts that need to be very strong, and a lot of times steel turns out to be the best material to work in. If we want, we can change the machine's set-up, for a fee of course, that will allow us to print in a different metal. We can print in titanium, nickel, magnesium, cobalt."

Weir and his team, which includes graduate students from the CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus College of Engineering and Applied Science (Matthew Davidson and Nili Krausz, bioengineering and mechanical engineering departments) and University of Colorado-Boulder (Jacob Segil, mechanical engineering), saw the EOSINT M270 arrive from Germany in late 2011. Weir received a $250,000 discount on the reconditioned machine because it had been used in an EOS facility.

But they had to wait a year to pull it out of storage while space was prepared for it in the Research Institute where Weir's lab is located, in the basement of Children's Hospital Colorado.

The machine uses a three-dimensional digital image to methodically laser-sinter beads of metal powder into solid metal. Most components will be built overnight in the machine, which has a door -- much like a microwave oven -- that allows manufacturers, or in this case researchers, to view the progress of each iterative design.

Segil said the machine creates a "whole new modality" to turn ideas into reality, especially in the tricky area of anthropomorphic design. "For things that don't have hard edges, like our bodies, it makes a world of difference," he said. "To (create) something like our finger, which has curvature and intricacies, out of metal is a horribly difficult and expensive thing to do using conventional machining processes. Now we have a machine to do it."

Weir said he'd like to make the metal prototype machine accessible to other researchers, as has been done with the plastic 3D printer. "We have a lot of rapid-prototyping capability within three or four rooms here. Our hope is to start a sort of prototyping center."

Meanwhile, the president hailed 3D printing technology in his recent State of the Union speech, saying it "has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything." Obama said an innovative manufacturing institute has already launched in Youngstown, Ohio, and he's pushing for as many as 18 such facilities around the nation.

Weir said it will be a process to learn all of the new machine's capabilities. "We will print a part, but it won't necessarily be a finished part," he said. "There's a post-finish process we have to do to clean up a part before it's usable. How much of that we need to do we need to discover."

He pointed out that the university's newly formed Bioengineering Department will begin an undergraduate program this fall. The program will include a design track that will train students to be able to take advantage of such cutting-edge rapid-prototyping equipment.

For more information, visit: www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/Engineering/Programs/bioengineering/Pages/Bioengineering.aspx

Published in University of Colorado

GPI Prototype announced that it has completed the installation of a third DMLS machine from EOS.  The additional EOSINT M 270 joins the EOSINT M270 & M280 machines currently being used at GPI to build metal parts additively.  The addition of a third machine establishes GPI as a leader in metal rapid prototyping and expands their DMLS material selection to include aluminum.

DMLS offers many advantages vs traditional tooling including the ability to manufacture complex geometries and shapes not possible with CNC machining. Conformal cooling channels can also be integrated into designs to dramatically reduce injection molding cycle/lead times and lower costs.  GPI offers 6 material choices for DMLS including Stainless Steel (GP1 & PH1), Titanium (Ti64), Cobalt Chrome (MP1), Maraging Steel (MS1) & Nickel Alloy (IN718). GPI is in the testing phase for aluminum and will be dedicating the EOSINT M280 machine to aluminum parts in the next month.

GPI is also proud to announce that they have received their International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Registration. ITAR regulates the export and import of U.S. military and defense related equipment and information. Companies receiving this certification have corporate procedures and controls in place to ensure compliance.  The ITAR Registration allows GPI to support military and defense-related projects in the United States.

Additional services include Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), 3D Printing (3DP), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Room Temperature Vulcanization (RTV), Investment Casting, Tooling, CNC Machining, Finishing, Painting and Laser Scanning.

Published in GPI Prototype

EOS is joining forces with Innovative Medical Device Solutions (IMDS), the strategic source for full-service medical device development and manufacturing. Together they offer customers, including industry-leading orthopedic and spine surgeons and implant companies, extensive product development resources for creating novel metal additive manufacturing (AM) designs.

This partnership will allow IMDS to manufacture products with patient-benefiting features that are made possible with the use of AM technology.

“Until now, using AM for medical devices was considered a high-technology novelty done on a few implants, but mainly used to make quick metal prototypes,” says Dan Justin, Chief Technology Officer for IMDS. “However, recent advances—such as increased materials choices, enhanced manufacturing precision, and faster build speeds—have made medical product developers worldwide more willing to co-invest in developing implants made by laser-sintering systems. This partnership marks the most comprehensive resource alignment between contract medical device development and metal additive manufacturing expertise available to our industry.”

EOS offers decades of experience designing and manufacturing laser-sintering systems that can create high-quality prototypes and end-use parts. IMDS specializes in partnering with medical device customers to develop and produce new implant and instrument systems. The company has recently added the latest-generation EOSINT M 280 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS™) systems to its already industry-leading product development and manufacturing capabilities across the U.S.

In response to requests by major medical product developers, EOS and IMDS have begun investigating partnerships with leading companies to bring out products that could only have been imagined previously.

“Our laser-sintering technology has opened up a door for developers who have formerly focused on subtractive processes,” says Andrew Snow, Regional Sales Director, EOS of North America, Inc. “Instead of being constrained by traditional technology, engineers and medical professionals are now free to explore a world of new designs—perhaps with varied porosity built in, or features nested inside.”

For example, most titanium implants are currently manufactured by subtractive machining, followed by adding a porous coating.  Now, some implants under development are being built one 20-micron layer at a time on high-precision DMLS machines. Each finished product is a functionally gradient single piece that transitions from a precisely shaped porous structure to a less porous, more solid load-bearing structure—a design with significant performance benefits that is not practical to undertake with traditional processes.  Other designs in development include patient-specific surgical guides for placement of pins, saws, and drills.

In the long term, the partnership will also provide orthopedic companies with a more cost-effective design-to-manufacturing pathway for customized implants—for instance, ultra-thin, bone-conserving hip, knee, and shoulder joint bearing implants—digitally designed from patient CT scans. DMLS can build medical products from regulatory approved implant materials such as stainless steel, cobalt-chrome, or titanium alloys.

The two companies will exhibit at the North American Spine Society (NASS) 2012 Annual Meeting (Dallas, Texas, Oct. 24-27), where IMDS will showcase the EOSINT M 280 and laser-sintered display pieces in IMDS booth # 2821. Also on display are parts created with software from WITHIN, an EOS partner and IMDS collaborator, which provides significant design-driven manufacturing capabilities to the overall e-Manufacturing solution.  WITHIN Medical software optimizes the design of innovative lattice structures. www.withinlab.com

For more information, visit: www.imds.net or www.eos.info

Published in EOS

Extraordinary advances in design and manufacturing will be on display at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in booth #S-8754. Machine tool builder GF AgieCharmilles, and market leading provider of design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM) EOS will showcase an innovative start-to-finish manufacturing process chain that will create, at the show, actual titanium tibial trays for surgical knee implants.

The manufacturing process starts with an FEA/CAD design, developed using WITHIN Medical software, of a lightweight, yet strong tibial tray. The part’s extremely complex geometry involves variable pore sizes on one side (to promote osseointegration) and a smooth surface on the other (to support loads on the tibia). An EOSINT M 280 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS™) system will then automatically build the component as a single near-net piece, layer by layer. The final step is surface machining, first on a Mikron HPM 450U 5-axis milling machine, then with a CUT 20P wire EDM machine, both from GF AgieCharmilles.

“This blend of our technologies goes far beyond what most other product developers are presently doing,” says Gisbert Ledvon, Director of Business Development at GF AgieCharmilles U.S. “We have combined the visionary design and manufacturing capabilities of WITHIN and EOS with our long-established production expertise and high-precision equipment. The result is a cutting-edge turnkey manufacturing system that operates with very little human intervention and a minimum of scrap material.”

“While the demonstration at IMTS is of a medical component, this type of process chain is applicable to practically any industry,” says Andrew Snow, Regional Sales Director, EOS of North America, Inc. “A look around the booth shows attendees the range of parts possible for aerospace, automotive, tooling with conformal cooling, consumer, and other sectors as well.”

The GF AgieCharmilles booth is divided into four distinct areas, each one featuring a different industry. Within the medical area, attendees will be walked through the operating GF AgieCharmilles/EOS manufacturing production line and will be able to see each step and each system in action. Technical experts from GF AgieCharmilles and EOS will be available at the booth to answer questions.

Joining them will be Dr. Siavash Mahdavi, CEO of WITHIN. “As a manufacturing process, laser sintering affords designers so much freedom that it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin,” Mahdavi says. “Our software and the partnership between EOS and GF AgieCharmilles point the way to others who wish to explore the benefits that design-driven, additive manufacturing can bring.”

The show takes place Sept. 10-15 at McCormick Place in Chicago. GF AgieCharmilles and EOS will also hold a joint press conference Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8 a.m. in Room S-505A at IMTS. AgieCharmilles will be highlighting the 60th year celebration of their long history of manufacturing innovation.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info / us.gfac.com / www.imts.com

Published in EOS

Cookson Precious Metals (CPM) will showcase a prototype of a small Additive Manufacturing (AM) metal system at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2012, hall 11, stand 11V28. The system, PRECIOUS M 080, is designed around the needs of the international watch and jewellery industry.

Stella Layton, CEO of Cookson Precious Metals states: “For this technology, we have joined forces with EOS, market leader for design-driven, integrated e-manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM) applications. “With this technology, 3D bespoke jewellery and watch components can be created from CAD files. This takes us on an exciting journey permitting the creation of highly complex and intricate designs that weren’t thinkable before. “The particular beauty of Additive Manufacturing is that it can be used to produce both one-off pieces as well as large scale production eliminating many process steps and tooling costs that we see today. “This technology is affordable, compact and provides a trend-setting manufacturing solution to the watch and jewellery industry.”

Just recently, CPM signed a strategic development partnership with EOS. Under this agreement, both companies introduce and further develop precious metal-based applications to the jewellery and watch industry. Product and services offerings will range from the production of precious metal parts to consulting for a Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS)-driven design process, the development and production of special precious metal alloys and the installation of a bespoke solution chain for high volume jewellery production.

To begin with, CPM offers AM capacities enabling a production of designs made of 18 ct yellow gold (3N colour). Both EOS and CPM envision customized e-manufacturing solutions that will change the economics of making jewellery or watches.

The technology time lowers the general costs of entry into the business of making quality jewellery and watch parts in precious metal. As such, e-manufacturing with DMLS enables designers to produce pieces that do not have to deal with the boundaries of conventional production techniques.

For more information, visit: www.cookson-emanufacturing.com

Published in EOS

Thanks to Phillips Plastics, GPI Prototype & Manufacturing Services was able to put together a case study on the benefits of using conformal cooling for injection molding.

Conformal cooling is is a primary application for DMLS, allowing the manufacture of tooling inserts and components in a timely manner. On top of the value of short turn-around times, additional value was created by the unique geometric freedom of design: "Advanced Tooling".

One of the relevant "Advanced Tooling" applications is the integration of conformal cooling channels. This helps to improve both the quality and economics of injection molded parts by reducing cycle time, scrap warp and sink, increasing productivity by 20%-60%. DMLS tools are used to produce millions of parts in injection molding operations or many thousand metal parts in die casting.

DMLS opens new frontiers for the implementation of efficient tooling by offering extended design possibilities for the manufacture of high performance tools - all without having to consider the many limitations characterize conventional processes. Complexity of the channel design does not impact the tool manufacturing process, as the DMLS system builds channels directly into the tool.

Published in GPI Prototype

Watch the skies: More and more, you’ll see unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) doing both commercial and public work, and a greater percentage of those devices will incorporate components manufactured with technology from EOS.

At booth 3758, EOS will display a variety of innovative laser-sintered aerospace parts, some of them difficult or even impossible to manufacture any other way. Around the corner at booth 3450, Northwest UAV Propulsion Systems and its sister company, Northwest Rapid Manufacturing, will be running a FORMIGA P 100 plastic laser-sintering system from EOS.

“Laser sintering provides a competitive business advantage that is helping us find new customers,” says Alexander Graham Dick, VP Operations and Technical Sales Manager of Northwest Rapid. “It offers high quality, rapid turnaround and the ability to create efficient, integrated components.” One example is the company’s generator set, which made use of their EOS plastic laser-sintering system. The set, which consists of a combustion engine that drives an electrical generator, increases fuel capacity through a plastic tank design that takes maximum advantage of available space and incorporates the fuel tank and its enclosure in one part.

Noted aerospace and defense analysts Teal Group observed in a recent market study that UAV spending is set to nearly double worldwide over the next decade, from $6.6 billion to $11.4 billion per year. Others predict that a sizable segment of this expansion will be civilian applications.

“Nearly every day someone recognizes a new use for UAVs for which the vehicle or payload needs to be adapted,” says Udo Behrendt, EOS’ Global Business Development Manager, Aerospace. “That means re-thinking designs and quickly remaking components—which is where the manufacturing capabilities of laser sintering are invaluable.”

UAV manufacturers can benefit from laser sintering in many ways. The plastic or metal materials are strong and durable. Lightweight parts can be built with complex shapes. Laser sintering enables instant customization and re-design without tooling, making it inexpensive to re-purpose an existing UAV from one mission to another. The technology has been used to make fuel tanks, engine housings, cowlings, nacelles, ducts, and even entire fuselages.

AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2012 will be held August 7-9, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information, visit: www.auvsishow.org

Published in EOS

On July 10, Laser Reproductions announced the addition of Direct Metal Laser Sintering to their already extensive list of prototyping services. Through the offering of DMLS, Laser Reproductions aims to satisfy customers with metal prototyping needs. In a recent survey conducted by Laser Reproductions, 96% of respondents showed an interest in DMLS.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering is an additive manufacturing process which uses CAD data to grow metal prototypes and production parts layer-by-layer. DMLS is ideal for creating high-quality, metal parts quickly. Advantages of Direct Metal Laser Sintering include: the ability to produce intricate geometries, quick and cost effective, extremely dense, and superb functionality testing. Laser Reproductions currently offers the options of two types of DMLS machines and eight materials. Numerous finish levels are available to ensure that each DMLS part looks perfect. Additional services include laser welding and laser engraving of DMLS parts.
 
Laser Reproductions is a rapid prototyping service bureau located in Columbus, Ohio. Encompassing 18 SLA machines and a full in-house model shop, LR specializes in Stereolithography (SLA) and Cast Urethane Molds. Other services include SLS, CNC, FDM, DMLS, and Contract Manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.laserrepro.com/DMLS

Published in Laser Reproductions

EOS, technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM) applications, and Cookson Precious Metals (CPM), worldwide established supplier for the precious metal industry, signed a strategic development partnership. Under this agreement, both companies will introduce and further develop precious metal-based applications to the jewelry and watch industry. The product and services offering will range from the production of precious metal parts to consulting for a Direct Metal Laser-Sintering- (DMLS) driven design process, the development and production of special precious metal alloys and the installation of a bespoke solution chain for high-volume jewelry production. To start with, CPM offers AM capacities enabling production of designs made of 18 carat yellow gold (3N color).

As a leading supplier of fabricated precious metals – primarily gold, silver and platinum – Cookson Precious Metals has a reputation for high-quality products and services, as well as for developing a close working relationship with customers. CPM is UK's largest one-stop shop for the jewelry maker with over 12,000 products, including a substantial stock of silver, gold, palladium and platinum bullion cut to customer requirements (sheet, wire, tube, solder, grain, settings) as well as wide ranges of findings, loose and finished chain, gemstones, ring blanks, jewelry making tools, silver clay and beading materials.

Dr. Adrian Keppler, Executive Vice President Strategy and Business Development at EOS, states: “With CPM we found a perfect partner to introduce our innovative and paradigm-shifting technology to the luxury goods industry. We truly believe that our AM process offers a huge potential for these industries and a freedom of design that they have long been searching for. The most demanding jewelry brands can now create entirely new products and geometries that still meet their high-quality requirements. The technology challenges the designer’s imagination and pushes it to the next level. This could not be achieved with a goldsmith’s handicraft work or conventional manufacturing methods.”

Stella Layton, Global Vice President at Cookson Precious Metals adds: “With EOS, we now join forces with the market and quality leader in AM. With the EOS technology, 3D bespoke jewelry and watch components can be created from CAD files. This takes us on an exciting journey, permitting the creation of highly complex and intricate designs that weren’t thinkable before. The particular beauty of this technology is that it can be used to produce both one-off pieces as well as large scale production eliminating many process steps and tooling costs we see today.”

Both EOS and CPM envision customized e-manufacturing solutions that will change the economics of making jewelry or watches. The shorter technology time lowers the general costs of entry into the business of making quality jewelry and watch parts in precious metal. As such, e-manufacturing with DMLS enables designers to produce pieces that do not have to deal with the boundaries of conventional production techniques.

Cookson Precious Metals (CPM) is a leading supplier of fabricated precious metals in Europe, a supplier of gold, silver, platinum and palladium alloys, wire, sheet, tubing, coin blanks and casting grain. Cookson is also a major precious metals refiner with London Bullion Market Association good delivery status.

For more information, visit: www.cookson-emanufacturing.com

Published in EOS

Imagine opening a gift on Christmas morning and finding a body part in the box.  This happened to CJ Howard in 2010...well, sort of.

CJ was a normal, active teenager in 2002. He liked to snowboard, run, hike, cycle, and swim. And then one day he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a form of cancer that led to part of his leg being amputated just below the knee.  He was 18 years old.

In 2008 he met Mandy Ott, a mechanical engineer working for a large aerospace company and an avid climbing enthusiast. He wasn't going to be deterred from joining her in her avocation.

Everything worked just fine, except for one thing: the prosthetic was quickly ruining the expensive climbing shoe on that foot. CJ would have the shoes resoled, but eventually would have to purchase new pairs.

Around this time, Mandy was working with Morris Technologies.  She was aware that the folks at MTI are experts in direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). A custom foot was an ideal "fit" for additive metal manufacturing. So a titanium foot was created.

CJ had taken part in the design of the foot, but by Christmas 2010, he had forgotten about it.

"I was completely shocked," says CJ. "When she handed me the box with the foot I was totally expecting to pull out a [climbing] rope, not a shiny, new climbing foot.  Definitely a one-of-a-kind gift!"

The new foot has advantages for CJ. Mandy reports that "the stiffness keeps him from slipping (unlike what he was using before), and the size helps him with crack climbing (and keeps him from getting stuck so easily)."

Other good news: CJ is nine years cancer-free April 2012.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been on the cutting edge of additive manufacturing technologies since 1994.   MTI invests heavily in R&D and specializes in end-to-end product development, from engineering to prototyping to low-volume manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.morristech.com

Published in Morris Technologies

GPI Prototype announced that it is showcasing and presenting its additive manufacturing capabilities at the Design & Manufacturing Texas show in Fort Worth, Texas March 14-15, 2012.  GPI Prototype will be available to answer questions regarding additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping at booth 1127.  GPI will also be exhibiting at NPE 2012 in Orlando, Florida from April 2-5, 2012 at booth 65039.  GPI is committed to showcasing additive technology at industry events and informing customers of the benefits and cost savings of additive manufacturing.

DMLS offers many advantages vs traditional tooling including the ability to manufacture complex geometries and shapes not possible with CNC machining. In addition conformal cooling channels can be integrated into designs to dramatically reduce cycle and lead times and lower costs.

GPI offers 5 material choices for DMLS including Stainless Steel (PH1), Stainless Steel (GP1), Cobalt Chrome (MP1), Maraging Steel (MS1) & Nickel Alloy (IN718).  GPI is also in the testing phase for Titanium Alloy (Ti-64) & Aluminum (ALSi10mg) and will offer those materials later in the year. Parts can be built in 20 micron layers with a turnaround time of a few days.

The GPI booth will showcase a variety of samples made via Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) along with parts made from other processes including SLS, SLA & FDM.  Visitors can learn about material properties and the advantages / disadvantages of each process. Complex tooling will also be on display offering a close up view of conformal cooling channels used to reduce injection molding cycle times.

Additional services include 3D Printing (3DP), Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Room Temperature Vulcanization (RTV), Investment Casting, Tooling, CNC Machining, Finishing, Laser Scanning & Manufacturing/Packaging solutions. These services are priced very competitively in the industry while providing the best in quality and customer service.

Published in GPI Prototype

Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI), the global leader of additive metal manufacturing, is proud to announce the availability of Stainless 17-4 PH for DMLS.

Stainless 17-4 PH has been in development at MTI since March 2011 and was released with full heat treatment properties in October 2011. This material is precipitation hardened and heat treated to exceed the minimum requirement of the AMS standards. It is comparable to typical commercial wrought properties. MTI offers multiple heat treatment options, ranging from H900 to H1150, yielding a range of material properties tailored to engineering applications.

The introduction of 17-4 PH is the latest addition to the 11 other alloys Morris Technologies offers for producing metal parts using additive manufacturing. A material property data sheet for 17-4 PH is located on the Morris Technologies website.

Morris Technologies employs a Research & Development team focused on additive metal equipment, process, and alloy development. This enables MTI to develop materials and introduce them to the market in a timely manner.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing technologies since 1994.  MTI's heavy investment in research and development has enabled them to evolve into the global leader in additive-metal manufacturing processes and advance technologies by offering new materials and developing new hardware.  MTI also specializes in end-to-end product development, from engineering to prototyping to low-volume manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.morristech.com

Published in Morris Technologies

LayerWise applied Additive Manufacturing (AM) to produce an award-winning Titanium total lower jaw implant reconstruction, developed in collaboration with project partners from medical industries and academia. To treat a senior patient’s progressive osteomyelitis of almost the entire lower jawbone, medical specialists and surgeons opted for such a complete patient-specific implant the first time ever. AM technology specialists at LayerWise printed the complex implant design incorporating articulated joints and dedicated features. The reconstruction – post-processed with dental suprastructure provisions, polished joint surfaces and a bioceramic coating – has been implanted successfully. It restored the patient’s facial esthetics and allowed her to regain her speech within hours.

Complex AM implant produced as a single part

LayerWise in Leuven, Belgium, produced the metal implant structure layer by layer using its dedicated metal AM technology. A high-precision laser selectively heats metal powder particles, in order to quickly and fully melt to properly attach to the previous layer without glue or binder liquid. As layers are built successively, AM hardly faces any restrictions to produce the complex lower jaw implant structure. AM is used to print functional implant shapes that otherwise require multiple metalworking steps or even cannot be produced any other way.

The revolutionary patient-specific implant has been developed and produced under supervision of Prof. Dr. Jules Poukens, in collaboration with specialized industrial and academic parties in Belgium and The Netherlands.. Just recently, the innovative implant was granted the “2012 AM-Award” by the Additive Manufacturing Network in Belgium. The jury members of Sirris and VITO praised the fact that AM played a decisive role in the realization of this revolutionary mandible implant.

A giant leap forward in mandibular treatment

Dr. ir. Peter Mercelis, Managing Director of LayerWise: “Besides a successful track record in industrial sectors, metal AM is gaining importance in medical implantology. AM’s freedom of shape allows the most complex freeform geometries to be produced as a single part prior to surgery. As illustrated by the lower jaw reconstruction, patient-specific implants can potentially be applied on a much wider scale than transplantation of human bone structures and soft tissues. The use of such implants yield excellent form and function, speeds up surgery and patient recovery, and reduces the risk for medical complications.”

Prof. Dr. Jules Poukens of the University Hasselt: “The new treatment method is a world premiere because it concerns the first patient-specific implant in replacement of the entire lower jaw. The implant integrates multiple functions, including dimples increasing the surface area, cavities promoting muscle attachment, and sleeves to lead mandible nerves. Furthermore, the mandible implant is equipped to directly insert dental bar and/or bridge implant suprastructures at a later stage. I led the team of surgeons who implanted the AM-produced structure during a surgery of less than four hours at the Orbis Medisch Centrum in Sittard-Geleen. Shortly after waking up from the anesthetics the patient spoke a few words, and the day after the patient was able to speak and swallow normally again.”

LayerWise is one of the top players in metal Additive Manufacturing technology. As an AM technology innovator, LayerWise stretches the limits of metal part performance and manufacturing economics. After gaining recognition across industrial sectors, AM is increasingly being adopted in different medical fields such as dentistry, orthopaedics, maxillofacial and spinal surgery. LayerWise intensively collaborates with academic partners, and heavily invests in research and development to push the boundaries of AM technology.

For more information, visit: www.layerwise.com



Published in LayerWise

For proof positive that laser-sintering is changing the face of medical design and manufacturing, attendees of this year’s American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting can stop by the EOS booth. The world leader in laser-sintering systems is showcasing a working EOSINT M 280 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) system to demonstrate the extraordinary benefits the technology offers for orthopedic applications. The evidence includes a wide range of innovative medical products and prototypes used for instrumentation as well as spinal, joint, and cranial surgeries. The show is being held February 8-10 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco (California).

“An entire new world of orthopedic treatment and procedures has opened up,” says Martin Bullemer, EOS manager for medical business development. “Because our laser-sintering systems can cost-effectively manufacture any imaginable geometry, and any variation on it, they are changing the way we think about medical products.”

Laser sintering is an additive manufacturing process involving next-to-no tooling, molding or machining costs. As a result, devices can be economically mass-customized to conform to the requirements of individual doctors or patients. Orthopedic suppliers use DMLS and plastics laser sintering to create a diverse array of drill guides, clamps, implants, and surgical instruments.

EOS-related activities at the AAOS meeting include:

• EOS customers C&A Tool (booth 4017), Morris Technologies (booth 359), and Oxford Performance Materials (booth 2821) are exhibiting laser-sintered products and prototypes. C&A and Morris both focus on DMLS, while Oxford Performance Materials uses the EOSINT P 800 with high-performance polymers to manufacture customized medical implants.

• Highlights from WITHIN Technologies Ltd include their FEA/CAD optimization software that works with EOS’ plastic and metal laser-sintering systems to create strong, lightweight parts including innovative lattice structures.

• FHC is exhibiting its new line of patient-customized stereotactic fixtures for cranial targeting. The new fixtures are more accurate and comfortable for the patient than standard stereotactic frames and are suitable for a broad range of head types, and for targets not easily reached with a traditional frame. They also reduce operating room times for the procedure by as much as two hours.

“Many surgeons and medical designers are only just now becoming aware of the breadth of applications made possible by this manufacturing technology,” says Fred Haer, CEO of FHC. “The laser-sintered products on display at this meeting are at the forefront of a revolution in personalized patient care.”

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info or www.aaos.org/education/anmeet/anmeet.asp

Published in EOS

A novel, active suspension system helped Coventry University’s Phoenix Racing team to win the Shell-sponsored award for most fuel-efficient car in the premier class of this year's Formula Student championship. Key components of the system, which were both compact and lightweight, were produced layer-by-layer from titanium alloy powder (Ti64) in EOS laser-sintering machines.

At Silverstone in July 2011, against fierce competition from over 100 universities around the world, the single-seater racing car was placed 20th overall. It was 5th in the endurance challenge, involving a separate, 22 km race during which the cars prove their speed and durability and the students execute a pit-stop and driver change.

Comprising third-year motorsport engineering students at Coventry University, Phoenix Racing, under team leader, Dan Priestman, this year produced its most advanced and successful car in over 10 years of racing in the Formula Student competition. The students took full advantage of the university’s motorsport workshop, in particular the direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) machines which were made available through sponsorship by laser-sintering equipment manufacturer, EOS.

The equipment allowed the students to manufacture intricate titanium parts for an electronically-controlled, hydraulic anti-roll system to ensure that the car maintained grip in the corners, a clever design feature that was acknowledged by the judges. All were industry professionals that had not previously come across such a system at the competition.

Causing a stir

Considerable interest was also shown in the active front suspension by a number of firms in the motorsport and automotive sectors, including Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix, Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines and Jaguar Land Rover.

Other Formula Student competitors were similarly curious, so much so that the team had to keep the system covered while the race car was being worked on to allow enough space around the vehicle.

Towards the end of the event, rumours had travelled up and down the pit lane suggesting that a top international team had spent the previous two nights trying to reverse-engineer the system, which was comically nicknamed the Doomsday Device at the championship.

Development of the hydraulic anti-roll system

The Phoenix race car was designed by the students under the guidance of Charles Kingdom, Senior Lecturer Materials and Engineering Design at Coventry University. Early on in the project, it became clear that the position of the front roll centre was below ground level, which increased the lateral transfer load, created a large body roll angle and produced a pronounced understeer.

This implied that a front anti-roll bar might be required.  However, a traditional bar could not be used, first because technical regulations meant that the feature would be outside the allowed chassis envelope, and secondly because it would have been difficult to fix the suspension pick-up due to the location of the front rockers. A further drawback with a passive anti-roll bar is that it transmits a single wheel bump around the whole chassis.

Phoenix Racing's new, active anti-roll system, which was the brainchild of student team member, Tom Edwardes, consists of two double-acting hydraulic cylinders connected top to bottom from left to right.  The actuators are fixed at one end to the front suspension rockers and at the other end to the vehicle chassis.  As one actuator compresses, the opposite actuator also compresses. In this simplistic form, the system mimics an infinitely stiff roll bar, so a method of varying the difference between the two actuators was required to allow roll resistance to be adjustable.

Two valve blocks were therefore added in-line, each consisting of a piston and a spring.  As the right-hand cylinder compresses during cornering, the fluid is displaced into the right-hand valve block. The piston compresses the spring, resulting in less fluid moving into the left hand cylinder.  This results in a difference in displacement between the two actuators.  The left hand valve block moves downwards to equalise the difference in fluid that is displaced.

Additive manufacture creates compact components

The actuator casing was manufactured from Ti64 powder using the DMLS process from EOS.  The additive procedure allows complex structures to be manufactured, directly from a CAD model, that would often be difficult or impossible to machine conventionally, such as the spiral oil feed pipe around the cylinder body. DMLS also frequently results in the component being smaller and lighter than it would otherwise be using traditional manufacturing techniques, in this case reducing the weight of the race car and making the components easier to install.

EOS produced the actuator casing and the rod end in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton, while the internals were manufactured at Coventry University. Machining of the titanium parts was carried out at James Camden Engineering, Warwick, and at the University of Wolverhampton, where Dr Mark Stanford worked for many hours to make some of the finished items.  The cylinder bores were honed at Crosshatch Services, Coventry, and the hydraulic fittings were supplied by Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Slough.  Overall length of the unit is 170 mm, with a bore of 25 mm and a 22 mm stroke. Weight is just 300 grams.

The valve blocks were also manufactured from Ti64 using DMLS.  It allowed the overall length of the units to be reduced by locating two hydraulic fittings alongside each valve body rather than at one end, both fittings being fed via two flow pipes running from the bottom of the block.  The component also features a mounting face and feet to locate the valve block to the chassis tubes.

Within the block are a piston, spring holder, spring and compressor.  The latter can be used to preload the spring within the holder using a one-millimetre pitch thread machined into the top half of the titanium casing. This allows the roll resistance of the vehicle to be adjusted either by the preload or by changing the spring.  The unit has a bore of 30 mm, an overall length of 120 mm and a mass of 450 grams.

Features and benefits of the hydraulic active system compared with a traditional anti-roll bar may be summarised as follows:

•    The active suspension is easily packaged within the chassis.
•    Roll stiffness can be quickly and simply adjusted, even by the driver.
•    The roll mechanism is damped.
•    Weight is comparable to that of a standard anti-roll system.
•    The energy of a single wheel bump is absorbed.
•    It is possible to develop the technique further into a full vehicle system to incorporate pitch and dive resistance.

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world's leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimises production processes. EOS completed its business year 2010/2011 with revenues of more than 90 million Euros (124.3 million US$). The company employs 300 people worldwide, 250 of them in Krailling near Munich, Germany.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info

Published in EOS

GPI Prototype announced that it has completed the installation of an EOSINT M 280 machine from EOS.  The EOSINT M 280 is an updated version of the EOSINT M 270 currently being used at GPI to build metal parts additively.  The addition of a second machine establishes GPI as a leader in rapid prototyping and expands their DMLS material selection to include aluminum and titanium.

GPI is committed to showcasing their additive technology at industry events and informing customers of the benefits and cost savings of additive manufacturing vs traditional machining. On September 14th-15th, 2011 at the ODT Conference & Exhibition in Fort Wayne, Indiana, GPI will be showcasing parts made via DMLS at booth #803.  GPI will also be exhibiting at Design & Manufacturing Midwest on September 20-22, 2011 in Chicago, IL at booth 2234.  GPI has established a foothold in a variety of markets including medical, aerospace, automotive & consumer products.

DMLS offers many advantages vs traditional tooling including the ability to manufacture complex geometries and shapes not possible with CNC machining. Conformal cooling channels can also be integrated into designs to dramatically reduce injection molding cycle/lead times and lower costs.  GPI offers 8 material choices for DMLS including Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome, Maraging Steel, Bronze Alloy, Titanium Alloy, Aluminum & Nickel Alloy.  Parts can be built in 20 micron layers with a turnaround time of a few days.

Top-quality, accurate, clean prototypes can be built in hours and shipped to the customer in a few days.

Additional services include Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), 3D Printing (3DP), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Room Temperature Vulcanization (RTV), Investment Casting, Tooling, CNC Machining, Finishing & Painting, Laser Scanning & Packaging solutions.  These services are priced very competitively in the industry while providing the best in quality and customer service.

Published in GPI Prototype

The presentation will begin with a general overview of DMLS and its core capabilities. After establishing this foundation, the presentation will move to examine the conformal channel/freedom of design capability and subsequent analysis of the markets/industries where the technology’s application will be most beneficial, e.g. Plastic Injection Molding, Aerospace, and Military. Primary benefits discussed will center on cycle time and waste reduction, improved part quality, increased productivity, and overall cost savings. At this point the discussion will move to a comparison between DMLS and conventional solutions to prevalent manufacturing issues, addressing the PROS and CONS of each, identifying instances where each is most applicable. Moving to the conclusion, industry research and data from proprietary case studies will be assessed to present real world examples of advantages gained by current users of DMLS technology.

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For more information visit: www.gpiprototype.com

Published in Prototype Today

At their booth in hall 4.1, booth F48, EOS, the leading supplier of laser-sintering systems, will be showcasing advanced e-Manufacturing solutions for dental crowns, bridges and implants at this year’s International Dental Show (IDS) show taking place in Cologne/Germany March 22 till 26, 2011. This digitalized manufacturing workflow based on the laser-sintering technology enables substantial time savings as well as parts that are characterized by excellent mechanical properties, a constant quality and a high detail resolution. Martin Bullemer, Business Development Manager Medical at EOS is convinced that "cost control as well as flexible and rapid product cycles will determine the future of the dental industry. Manufacturing with laser-sintering can offer all of this." 

During the past year, about 1.5 million individual dental copings and bridges were manufactured in automated manufacturing centers via e-Manufacturing with the EOS laser-sinter technology. Core of this process is the EOSINT M270 - the only system of that kind which produces costs-efficient and high quality dental restorations by using Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS). With this production process dental copings and bridges made of CE (CE 0537) certified powder based on CAD data can be developed within a very short time thus enabling a dramatic automation and digitalization shift in the dental industry.

From casting to laser-sintering: industrializing the dental industry

Dental restorations have long been conventionally produced primarily from metal through the use of casting techniques. Currently, though, dental technology is undergoing a radical shift and a process of industrialization that has already taken place in other markets. Today, the use of digital dental technology is on the rise and manufacturing processes are being automated. Using the conventional casting production process, a dental technician can currently produce only about 20 dental frames per day. Laser-sintering is a significantly superior method: one fully-automated laser-sintering system can produce approximately 450 high-quality units of dental crowns and bridges within 24 hours. This corresponds to a production speed of approximately three minutes per unit on an average, making laser-sintering a true industrial process ensuring high productivity at a reduced costs.

High quality products, cost efficiency and time savings

By digitalizing the work steps, it is possible to weed out error sources from the assessment of the patient to the production in the lab and to guarantee consistent high quality. This reduces the risk of incorrect preparation or moldings, of imprecisions in fit as well as during the finishing work or costly repetitions. Digital in data generation, laser-sintering at the same time enables a high reproducibility of production properties and a patient-specific serial production. At the same time, this technology is much more cost effective than conventional precision casting. As such, the software supported workflow enables reduced processing times, permitting the dental technician to concentrate on the vital peripheral processing steps of value creation such as aesthetic and function-orientated ceramic veneering.

Technological centrepiece of  dental e-Manufacturing: EOSINT M 270

The technological centrepiece of dental e-Manufacturing is the Direct Metal-Laser Sintering (DMLS) system EOSINT M 270. In order to manufacture dental restorations based on this additive manufacturing method, the 3D CAD data is sliced into layers. The system runs with an Ytterbium-Fibre–Laser with a nominal output of 200W. The desired geometry of dental crowns or bridges is produced in layers by selectively fusing metal powder and with the possibility of integrating identification tags. After production has been completed, supports can easily be removed. Since operating a DMLS system requires personnel only for loading and unpacking the machine, two production cycles per day can be executed. Currently, EOS has an installed base of more than 35 dental EOSINT M 270 systems worldwide.

For the manufacture of dental crowns and bridges, the EOSINT M 270 processes a special cobalt chromium molybdenum-based super alloy, EOS Cobalt Chrome SP2. It is biocompatible and CE-certified for use in the dental industry (CE 0537). This well established material has seen considerable demand in recent years and is very inexpensive compared to precious metal alloys. The quick solidification after melting leads to a fine and homogenous microstructure whereas during the casting there is always a risk of overheating and segregation. EOS owns a large patent portfolio relating to the Laser sintering technology, including rights licensed from BEGO Medical GmbH for the production of dental prostheses and related products using laser sintering technology.

Clients of EOS are convinced by the benefits the EOS technology brings: „We have integrated selective laser melting (i.e. DMLS) into our CAD/CAM system carat because this technology enables dental high quality restorations“ says Dr. Owe Böhm, Head of R&D at Heraeus Dental. „With this, we establish a flexible and efficient way of processing base metal and as such enhance manufacturing options within the cara system. In cooperation with EOS, Heraeus offers an up-to-date SLM technology (DMLS) to CAD/CAM users in their manufacturing centres. As a result, custom-fit, homogeneous Cobalt Chromium crowns and bridges can be achieved.”

Bullemer concludes: „With the DMLS systems our clients today can achieve high precision prostheses with highly reproducible properties. In addition to this, we talk about a controlled process here – production parameters are established and well documented.”

Commercialization of dental Implants over the last three years

Another dental application has experiences a tremendous commercialization push over the last three years. Italy-based EOS client Leader Italia s.r.l. has pioneered the series production of a range of innovative dental implant screws which have been specially designed for production as well on EOSINT M 270 using Titanium material, and include unique advantages. Conventionally such screws are machined from solid metal. In laser-sintering, the screws are grown by melting the metal powder together, so material wastage is avoided. The laser exposure is controlled to produce a hybrid structure comprising a fully dense body with a porous surface morphology, which eliminates the need for coating and offers enhanced bioactivity. It is also a highly productive process.

Because no tooling is needed, different types and sizes of screw can be produced within each job, according to demand. The result is efficient and flexible series production of a high-performance product. Federico Rizzi, Product Design Manager says: “The innovative laser-sintering of titanium enables us to computer-design and manufacture dental implants and relative surfaces characterized by intercommunicating cavities that replicate the bone structure – which is impossible to obtain through traditional surface treating processes. As such we can contribute to advance dental implantology to the next level.”

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS completed its business year 2009/2010 with revenues of 64 million Euros. The company employs 300 people worldwide, 250 of them in Krailling near Munich, Germany.

For more information visit www.eos.info

Published in EOS

At this year’s LAB DAY Chicago (Feb. 25-26, Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers), EOS-Electro Optical Systems, the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, is proud to present two clinics, titled “Producing Bridges, Copings, Implants and Models from CAD Data Via Laser-Sintering.” The sessions mark the first time at LAB DAY that EOS has presented clinics approved for 1.5 Scientific Certified Dental Technician (CDT) Credits. They will be held in Hospitality Suite 930 on Saturday, Feb. 26, from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. and again from 10:30 a.m.-noon.

The clinics will afford dental technicians the opportunity to learn about direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) as a cost-saving, efficient alternative to traditional casting methods for copings, bridges, and implants. They will also explore plastics laser-sintering for modeling for, among other things, post-processing restorations. Thomas Thiel, Master Dental Technologist, will conduct the clinics.

Thiel, an EOS engineer, dental applications division, has previously worked in commercial laboratories specializing in crown and bridge, combined removable partial dentures, implants and ceramics. He has also worked as a trainer at Bremen-based BEGO, one of the leading dental companies worldwide, spearheading various dental clinics.

“Laser-sintering is gaining widespread acceptance as a manufacturing and modeling tool throughout the dental industry,” Thiel notes. “Our presentation of this accredited class is one more example of that, and will promote additional adoption by laboratories that wish to benefit from our mass customization and batch manufacturing capabilities.” In addition to biocompatible cobalt-chrome copings and bridges, EOS DMLS systems are used for titanium implants with controlled porous surfaces that promote osteointegration. These implants are currently CE-certified in Europe and are undergoing FDA approval in the USA.  

An additive manufacturing technology, laser-sintering uses CAD and other 3D digital data to build parts layer-by-layer. DMLS equipment can run unattended to produce about 450 individually designed bridges and crowns for porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) restorations in 24 hours. In contrast, with the traditional lost-wax casting process, a dental technician can only produce about 20.

EOS will also showcase samples of dental products at its exhibit during LAB DAY.

Published in EOS

GPI Prototype announced that it will showcase and present its additive manufacturing capabilities at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing/Medical Design & Manufacturing 2011 show in Anaheim California on February 8th-9th 2011. GPI Prototype will be located at booth 3874 and be available to answer questions regarding additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. GPI will also be exhibiting at the Design & Manufacturing South in Orlando Florida from March 16th-17th 2011 at booth 624. GPI is committed to showcasing additive technology at industry events and informing customers of the benefits and cost savings of additive manufacturing.

GPI Prototype has been a leader in the Prototyping Industry with its Direct Metal Laser Sintering – DMLS capabilities using the EOSINT M 270 DMLS machine from EOS. DMLS offers many advantages vs traditional tooling including the ability to manufacture complex geometries and shapes not possible with CNC machining.

In addition conformal cooling channels can be integrated into designs to dramatically reduce cycle and lead times and lower costs. GPI offers 8 material choices for DMLS including Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome, Maraging Steel, Bronze Alloy, Titanium Alloy, Aluminum & Nickel Alloy. Parts can be built in 20 micron layers with a turnaround time of a few days.

3D Printing is also offered by GPI using Objet’s 3D Printer. This top of the line printer can produce parts in 16 micron layers in multiple durometers or digital blends for outstanding detail and eliminate the traditional stair effect that is problematic with Stereolithography. For a wide range of applications 8 FullCure resins are available in both rigid and soft varieties. Top-quality, accurate, clean prototypes can be built in hours and shipped to the customer in a few days.

Additional services include Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Room Temperature Vulcanization (RTV), Investment Casting, Tooling, CNC Machining, Finishing, Laser Scanning & Manufacturing/Packaging solutions. These services are priced very competitively in the industry while providing the best in quality and customer service.

More information is available on GPI’s full range of services by contacting a sales representative at 847-234-1774. GPI Prototype was founded in 2007 and employs 27 people from their headquarters in Lake Bluff, IL.

Published in GPI Prototype

EOS, the world leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, once again presents its e-Manufacturing solutions at EuroMold in Frankfurt. EOS illustrates the range of its portfolio with metal and plastic laser-sintering systems operating in the new hall 11, booth C08. With the introduction of a further improved system and new metal materials, the company is responding to the requirements of the market by providing solutions that increase productivity and improve efficiency and process quality, especially in the field of series production where the market demands quality- and cost-effective solutions.

“At EuroMold, EOS’ introduction of an enhanced system for Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS) sets new standards in terms of part quality and repeatability, while providing a higher cost efficiency and improved usability,” says Peter Klink, Executive Vice President Global Sales at EOS.

"At the same time, the debut of new EOS materials further expands our quality leadership function. Very often, the development of these materials is based on a dialogue with our customers. Together we can solve their challenges in production. In addition, tthese new materials open up completely new fields of application,” adds Klink.

For metal materials, EOS presents EOS NickelAlloy IN625. Inconel 625 is particularly used in the aerospace industry. EOS also introduces two new plastic materials: Prime Part FR (PA 2241 FR) - a new, non-flammable material, especially for the aerospace industry - and PrimePart ST (PEBA 2301) – a flexible plastic, that, due to its special material properties, creates unlimited applications.

Additionally, EOS Part Property Profiles (PPP) for standardized and comparable quality of e-Manufacturing in the plastics sector is successfully used in production since last year’s announcement at EuroMold 2009. Now, in 2010, the first PPPs are available for the metal sector. In addition, EOS will further develop the appropriate concept of Part Property Management (PPM).

We kindly invite you to the EOS press conference on Dec. 1, 2010 at 14.00 h on the EOS boothwww.eos.info/interview. If you wish to arrange an interview with EOS at EuroMold 2010 please arrange an appointment in advance with Claudia Jordan (see contact details below).

About EOS

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS completed its business year 2008/2009 with revenues of approximately 60 million Euros. The company employs 300 people worldwide, 250 of them in Krailling near Munich, Germany. For more information visit www.eos.info.

Contact:
EOS Electro Optical Systems GmbH
Claudia Jordan
Group Manager Marketing Communications
Phone: +49 89 893 36 134
Fax: +49 89 893 36 284
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Published in EOS

EOS, world leading manufacturer of laser sintering systems, is pleased to announce increasing use of its EOSINT M 270 systems for the production of parts in titanium. Since the introduction of this material for the EOSINT M 270 laser sintering system in 2006, both the machine technology and the titanium building process have been significantly advanced, leading to higher productivity and improved surface quality of the parts. This has led to increased interest and use of the technology in a range of industrial and consumer applications. As well as in the main markets of Europe, North America and Japan, there are now EOSINT M 270 customers using titanium in India and South Africa, and further systems ordered from South America and Australasia. The customers include industrial end-users, service provider companies and research institutes.

Laser-sintering is an attractive production method for many titanium applications. For one thing, the conventional methods of casting, forging and machining are often difficult and expensive with titanium materials. Following the e-Manufacturing concept, titanium is also often used for high-value components produced in relatively small quantities. And the possibility to easily build hollow and other lightweight structures by laser-sintering offers many possibilities to improve the performance and therefore the value of titanium parts in weight-critical applications such as aerospace components.  

Titanium alloys have excellent mechanical properties and corrosion resistance combined with low specific weight and good biocompatibility. So far the main applications for laser-sintered titanium are in medical and dental devices, aerospace and motor sports, and the fashion industry. The most commonly used material is EOS Titanium Ti64, which is Ti6Al4V alloy in fine powder form. In some medical cases an extra-low interstitial (ELI) version of this powder is used or commercially pure titanium powder.  

Mike Shellabear, Vice President for Metal Technology at EOS, comments: “Titanium applications tend to be extremely demanding. Especially the medical and aerospace markets require excellent part properties, and that the production machines and process chains reliably achieve these. Now that we have demonstrated that our state-of-the-art technology can fulfil these requirements, we see growing interest in and acceptance of DMLS as a production method for titanium. We expect to see rapid growth in this area."     

Leader Italia s.r.l. (www.leaderitalia.it) is pioneering the series production of medical devices in titanium by laser-sintering. They have developed a special range of innovative dental implant screws called TiXos which have been specially designed for production on EOSINT M 270 using Titanium material, and include unique advantages. Conventionally such screws are machined from solid metal. In laser-sintering, the screws are grown by melting the metal powder together, so material wastage is avoided. The laser exposure is controlled to produce a hybrid structure comprising a fully dense body with a porous surface morphology, which eliminates the need for coating and offers enhanced bioactivity. It is also a highly productive process.  

Because no tooling is needed, different types and sizes of screw can be produced within each job, according to demand.  The result is efficient and flexible series production of a high-performance product. Federico Rizzi, Product Design Manager says: “The innovative laser-sintering of titanium enables us to computer-design and manufacture dental implants and relative surfaces characterized by intercommunicating cavities that replicate the bone structure – which is impossible to obtain through traditional surface treating processes. As such we can contribute to advance dental implantology to the next level.”  

FutureFactories (www.futurefactories.com), a UK-based company founded by Lionel T. Dean, has been leading the way in applying the unique possibilities of e-Manufacturing to the creation of novel fashion and consumer products. In recent years they have used laser-sintering to create plastic lamps and chairs as well as metal jewellery products with eye-catching geometries, which typically would be difficult or impossible to manufacture in other ways. These have created great interest in the design world, for example the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired a Tuber9 laser-sintered lamp for their permanent Design Collection.  

With the Icon pendant, FutureFactories broke new ground by producing a limited edition of commercial products, each one unique but based on a common meta-design, thereby implementing mass-individualisation. The design is highly complex, comprising intertwining free-form shapes, and was implemented in titanium because it would be virtually impossible to produce by conventional methods - soldering, which is commonly used in jewellery, cannot be applied to titanium. The laser-sintered pendants are built fully-dense and polished to produce the desired aesthetic appearance. Lionel T. Dean summarizes the key benefit: “DMLS freed FutureFactories from the restrictions of the casting process and allowed the company to realise complex CAD geometry directly in metal. Now the first consideration is the form we want to produce rather than the limits of manufacturing."  

Kerrie Luft (www.kerrieluft.com) is a British footwear designer who studied at the legendary Cordwainers, part of the London College of Fashion. As Kerry explains, “I am creating unique shoes embracing new technologies such as laser-sintering. I utilise these technologies in a conceptual way. My latest collection “Nouveau” defines the characteristics of Art Nouveau by rapid prototyping titanium to create the complex geometry of the heel. Inspired by nature I consequently created innovative shapes within both the upper of the shoes and the heels. I love the process of design and making, from taking the initial concept and translating it into collections that are unique and special. Laser-sintering gives me the freedom to do this.” The filigree structures of the high heels required a high strength material, and titanium was chosen as being ideal. The resulting shoes of her MA collection – with revolutionary heel designs using laser-sintered titanium - were showcased at the Mall Galleries in London. This work helped Kerrie to become short-listed as a finalist for the Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden Accessories Award 2009  

All of these examples impressively show the scope of application areas laser-sintered titanium can offer. And there are still much more to be discovered and advanced.  

About EOS

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS completed its business year 2007/2008 with revenues of approximately 70 million Euros, which is an increase of 17 percent compared to the previous year. The company employs 280 people worldwide, 230 of them at its headquarters in Krailling near Munich, Germany. For more information visit www.eos.info.

Published in EOS

EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, today announced that Galloway Plastics Inc. (GPI) is using an EOSINT M 270 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) system as part of a larger business strategy to support the expansion of GPI Prototype and GPI Anatomicals. This is the first installation of an M 270 in the Chicago area.

For GPI Prototype, a complete service bureau, the equipment will broaden their in-house offerings. GPI Anatomicals, the largest manufacturer of anatomical/medical device models, will use it to further expand their core orthopaedic device capabilities.

“We see DMLS as a huge step toward eliminating the gap between prototyping and production,” says Scott Galloway, president and owner of GPI. “Also, with it we can create parts that would not be possible to manufacture using traditional methods.”

DMLS on the EOSINT M 270 is an additive manufacturing process. It starts with a CAD file that defines each layer of a cross-sectioned model. 20 to 40 µm thin layers of metal powder are deposited onto a build platform and laser-sintered by a focused laser beam. The platform is then lowered and the process repeated layer-by-layer until a three-dimensional metal part is produced. DMLS can “grow” parts — even those with extremely complex geometries — in just a few hours.

The M 270’s abilities for mass customization and building of intricate shapes make it an ideal technology for the orthopaedic, device implant, and aerospace markets. GPI will be using DMLS in these fields as well as creating device tooling, tooling inserts for molds, and short-run or custom-metal parts for field use.

“We are all looking forward to watching GPI apply its many years of expertise in creating elaborate prototypes, models and finished products to DMLS,” says Jim Fendrick, vice president of EOS of North America. “It is always exciting to see what comes of putting this equipment in the hands of innovative, imaginative companies.”

About Galloway Plastics Inc.; GPI Prototype

Galloway Plastics Inc., founded in 1980, is a custom plastics product design/engineering and manufacturing firm that specializes in medical models and rapid prototype/mfg. services. It employs a wide range of prototyping services in house and offers direct manufacturing in Lake Bluff, Illinois and also in Shenzhen, China since 1994. GPI Anatomicals is North America’s largest manufacturer of anatomical models; over 5 million models have been sold worldwide.

For more information visit: www.gpiprototype.com

Published in EOS

EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, the worldwide leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, today announced the results of data gathered by Linear Mold & Engineering (Livonia, MI) comparing manufacturing times for creating molds and mold inserts in Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS) against traditional machining processes. The data were assembled during two-and-a-half years of costing out more than 50 commercial tool and mold projects across a wide variety of industries. The results demonstrate that, for many applications, DMLS significantly reduces production times and therefore costs. Cost savings using DMLS range between 15 and 30 percent, depending on the complexity of the part.

Because Linear has longstanding experience with machining, CNC tooling, EDM, and other tool and moldmaking processes, the company has a library of benchmark figures for how long different projects will take using these methods. Over the past three years, Linear has manufactured molds and inserts in maraging steel, stainless steel, and bronze using DMLS.

John Tenbusch, president of Linear, says, “Given the high cost of materials and energy these days, we are always on the lookout for savings and efficiencies. Often, when we compare our production times between laser-sintering and other manufacturing methods, using DMLS is the obvious choice.”

“Linear is a creative, innovative customer,” comments Jim Fendrick, Vice President of EOS of North America. “John and his staff are constantly exploring the capabilities of DMLS to shorten manufacturing cycles and grow parts that wouldn’t be as cost-effective, or wouldn’t even be manufacturable, using traditional processes.”

DMLS on the EOSINT M 270 is a form of additive manufacturing. The process begins with a CAD file that defines each layer of a cross-sectioned model. 20 to 40 µm thin layers of metal powder are deposited onto a build platform and laser-sintered by a focused laser beam. The platform is then lowered and the process repeated layer-by-layer until a three-dimensional metal part is produced. DMLS can “grow” parts, even those with extremely complex geometries, in just a few hours.

About Linear Mold & Engineering (www.linearmold.com)

Linear Mold & Engineering, founded in 2003, is a precision manufacturer of injection molds and prototype tooling for a wide variety of plastic components. An ISO 9001:2000 certified company, Linear has more than thirty-five years of expertise in product design, mold manufacturing and injection molding of finished and prototype products. The company employs a wide range of in-house prototyping and machining processes to ensure that it can provide the most cost-effective molding and tooling products to its customers.

About EOS of North America Inc. (www.eos.us)

EOS of North America Inc. sells, services, supports, and markets the entire EOS line of rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, and rapid manufacturing systems. This includes solutions for plastic laser-sintering as well as Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS). Founded in 1989, EOS GmbH is the world leader in the manufacture of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e Manufacturing: the fast, flexible and cost-effective production directly from CAD data. The technology accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS has completed its business year 2006/2007 with revenues in laser-sintering of €59.7 million (approximately $88 million), which is an increase of 14 percent compared to the previous year. EOS GmbH is headquartered in Krailling/Munich, Germany.

Published in EOS

EOS of North America Inc., a division of EOS GmbH, the leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, announced today that Vaupell Rapid Solutions has selected the EOSINT M 270 Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS) system for the production of tooling inserts, prototype parts, and end products directly in metal. Vaupell is a division of Vaupell Molding and Tooling, Inc., and a leading American rapid prototyping and manufacturing service bureau.

Vaupell collaborates with clients to meet their rapid prototyping, product design, tooling, and manufacturing challenges. “The M 270 will allow many of our customers to more quickly evaluate functional prototypes in actual or close-to-actual end materials, and in design configurations and time frames not possible with any other established process,” says General Manager Steve Ettelson.

The EOSINT M 270 DMLS system produces metal parts from a variety of materials including bronze-based alloys, a cobalt-chrome superalloy, titanium Ti64, and maraging and stainless steels. Typical applications are tooling, engineered products and medical implants, among others. The system uses a focused, 200W ytterbium-fiber laser to melt metal powder, which fuses into a solid part. It builds parts layer by layer, often with less post processing than traditional CNC machining, and it operates fully automatically and completely unattended.

Metal parts made with the M 270 offer high accuracy and detail resolution, good surface quality, and excellent mechanical properties. “We put the M 270 in our machining department instead of our rapid prototyping department,” says Ettelson, “because we view DMLS as very complementary to machining.”
The M 270 can also produce complex mold geometries, such as integrated conformal cooling channels, that are not possible in traditional toolmaking processes. “We know the needs of our customer base and are very confident that the M 270 will provide breakthrough capabilities in several areas,” says Ettelson. “For example, being a world leader in molding high-temperature thermoplastics, we expect to significantly reduce our manufacturing cycle times with the conformal cooling possibilities offered by DMLS.”

“We are delighted that Vaupell Rapid Solutions selected our DMLS system to be a key component of their next-generation product design and fabrication services,” says Jim Fendrick, EOS vice president for North America. “The M 270 empowers innovative companies like Vaupell Rapid Solutions to create completely new products for their clients.”

About EOS of North America Inc.

EOS of North America Inc. sells, services, supports, and markets the entire EOS line of rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, and rapid manufacturing systems. This includes solutions for plastic laser-sintering as well as Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS). Founded in 1989, EOS GmbH is a world leader in the manufacture of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e Manufacturing: the fast, flexible and cost-effective production directly from CAD data. The technology accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS has completed its business year 2006/2007 with revenues in laser-sintering of €59.7 million (approximately $88 million), which is an increase of 14 percent compared to the previous year. EOS GmbH is headquartered in Krailling/Munich, Germany.

About Vaupell Rapid Solutions

Vaupell Rapid Solutions provides prototypes and models of new and innovative product designs for aerospace, defense, life science, and commercial OEMs. The company specializes in Stereolithography (SLA); Selective Laser Sintering (SLS); Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS); 3- to 5-axis machining; and casting of urethane, epoxy, silicone, and metals. This expertise allows Vaupell to help its customers prove out their design concepts and carry out functional tests so they can launch better products more quickly. Vaupell can provide prototype and short-run production of injection molded parts during start-up, and Vaupell Molding and Tooling, its parent company, offers production tools, fixtures, and parts for customers in its five facilities around the world. Vaupell is ISO 9000 and 13485 registered. Vaupell’s experts in prototyping and early stage production work with customers to make the right choices. Contact Vaupell at www.vaupell.com or 603-577-9970.

Published in EOS

Ecoparts AG relies on Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS) from EOS. The service provider based in Rueti, Switzerland produces tooling inserts with DMLS for applications in industries such as motorsport and automotive but also for designer and jewellery items. Using EOS technology enables Ecoparts to integrate cooling channels directly into the injection molding tooling insert. The leading service provider of DMLS technology in Switzerland thus decreases the cycle times in the injection molding process by up to 25 per cent.

Ecoparts decided in early 2007 to start producing components using DMLS. The company has evaluated the technology for a long time. At the end, the decisive factors were the very good surface quality, the high achievable part density demanded by toolmaking, as well as the enlarged spectrum of materials.

Core competence of Ecoparts is tooling, for which the company uses the material EOS MaragingSteel MS 1. After age hardening, the tool steel with the classification 1.2709 reaches a tensile strength 1950 MPa and a hardness of up to 54 HRC. Above all, the DMLS technology allows Ecoparts to create inserts with complex shapes that cannot be realized with conventional methods. “We also use integrated cooling channels in our tooling inserts. Thus we reduce the cycle times by up to 25 per cent“, states Daniel Kündig, managing director of Ecoparts. Further advantages in his opinion are the short lead times and the high productivity: “Our system can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.“ Ten to twenty tooling inserts are built each week at Ecoparts. Laser-sintering creates inserts directly from CAD data. As a consequence, the company saves manual processing steps such as machining for example.

Kündig also sees a large potential for DMLS in producing hybrid tooling: “For simple geometries we still use traditional technologies. But we can also add the upper part of a tool including integrated cooling using laser-sintering. By this combination, we achieve the optimum result for our customers in terms of productivity, quality and costs.“

A further focus of Ecoparts are functional prototypes and end-use products directly in metal, which are built mainly in the materials EOS StainlessSteel 17-4 and DirectMetal 20, a bronze-based powder.

Published in EOS

Sirona Dental Systems GmbH, the international leading provider of equipment and services for the dental industry, expands its product range for dental prostheses using DMLS from EOS. With help of the technology, Sirona’s production service infiniDent now manufactures customized crowns and bridge frameworks in a bio-compatible cobalt-chrome alloy. The EOS material was developed especially for this application, and thus required close collaboration with Sirona. The new service allows the production of several hundreds restorations per day.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away“, says an old proverb. Still, about 12 million teeth restorations are required each year in Germany alone. With its division “Dental CAD-CAM systems“, Sirona has established itself in the past years in this market. In April 2006, the company has extended the services of its Internet platform infiniDent. As of now, teeth frameworks are produced using laser-sintering technology from EOS. The frameworks form the basis for the later dental prosthesis.

In the process, the impression of the patient’s denture is sent from the dentist to the laboratory. This is where a plaster model is produced. A scanner then reads the model without contact. The framework is produced directly at the PC. Via Internet the construction data are sent to infiniDent, where an EOS laser-sintering system manufactures the copings. Laborious and manual processing steps such as modelling and casting of the frameworks at the laboratory are no longer needed.

Using laser-sintering technology makes the laboratory significantly more efficient: Usually a dental technician processes about ten crowns per working day. With the technology Sirona speeds up the process considerably: Several hundred frameworks are built within one day only. The turn around times for orders are three working days only from sending the construction data until delivery of the frameworks to the laboratory.

Sirona sees significant advantages of the technology: “The manual activities in the field of casting of frameworks become more efficient with the use of CAD. The industrial production of frameworks is not only more cost-effective, but also provides a consistent high quality“, explains Dr. Saliger, project manager infiniDent at Sirona.

“This application is e-Manufacturing at its best. It shows the excellent suitability of our technology for the manufacture of individual products in the medical environment“, states Johann Oberhofer, COO and managing director of EOS GmbH. “Laser-sintering technology also has a high potential for the production of patientspecific implants. We are very confident that our e-Manufacturing philosophy will establish itself in the coming years in this industry.“

Published in EOS

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