Optomec has announced an order from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) for a LENS 3D metal hybrid controlled atmosphere system. The controlled atmosphere hybrid 3D metal printer is one of three models in the new LENS Machine Tool Series from Optomec, which was announced at the International Machine Tool Show (IMTS) earlier this year. Each system in the LENS Machine Tool series combines a CNC vertical mill from Fryer Machine Systems with the Optomec LENS Print Engine technology to enable low-cost, high-value metal additive and subtractive metalworking.
“This is the first powder-fed directed energy deposition system that is both hybrid and has a controlled atmosphere chamber which is exactly what we need to maximize our industry research and enable us to work with reactive materials. As an early adopter of this unique new system, we gain 3D printing capabilities matched nowhere else in the world,” said Michael P. Sealy, Ph.D. assistant professor, Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering at University of Nebraska. “We’ve invested in establishing leadership in hybrid manufacturing research and are pleased to partner with Optomec to further this position. This printer will be a core tool for our College of Engineering and will enable us to tap the full potential of our industry-driven research.”
UNL will use its controlled atmosphere system to advance research in key areas such as heavy machinery, medical devices and aeronautics. UNL needed a machine that could perform both additive and subtractive processes, but also operate in an enclosed environment so that oxygen can be purged from the system to allow for the printing of metals such as titanium and aluminum.