9/18/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

Trumpf TruPrint 5000 Boosts Productivity with Three Fiber Lasers

Originally titled 'Multilaser Metal 3D Printer Boosts Productivity'

The TruPrint 5000 metal 3D printer features three fiber lasers that can operate simultaneously at any point within the build chamber.

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The TruPrint 5000 metal 3D printer from Trumpf is equipped with three scanner-guided, 500-W fiber lasers for improved 3D printing times to support production applications. The three lasers are fitted with optics, enabling them to operate simultaneously at any point in the system’s construction chamber. As a result, they can generate components much faster and more efficiently, irrespective of the number and geometry of the components, the company says.

This multi-laser concept does not limit the lasers to defined areas in the process chamber, for greater speed and productivity. Exposure strategies developed by Trumpf automatically calculate the ideal laser paths, so that all three lasers can always expose multiple parts. The finished components are literally seamless, as the outer contours are produced with a single laser. If all process parameters are in optimum settings, TruPrint 5000 requires just a third of the exposure time per job, the company says.

Based on Laser Metal Fusion (LMF) manufacturing technology, the system uses laser power to generate complex metallic components layer by layer in the powder bed. The components can measure as much as 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height and consist of all weldable materials, such as steels, nickel-base alloys, titanium, aluminum and high-carbon hot-work steels. According to Trumpf, pre-heating the printer to 500°C ensures high component quality, particularly for hot-work steels and titanium, and guarantees a robust construction process for all materials.

The TruPrint 5000 is equipped with automation features, making the machine able to start the manufacturing process automatically. As soon as the build cylinder is placed in the system, it moves automatically to its setup and working position. The integrated zero-point clamping system is the basis for downstream process steps such as EDM, milling and turning. It connects the substrate plate automatically with the piston in the cylinder, doing away with the need for manual work steps, such as tightening screws, the company says.

Next, a transport system in the process chamber places covers over the build and supply cylinders, sets them to a rest position, and the manufacturing process starts autonomously. In the next step, the lasers calibrate themselves, the substrate plate aligns itself, and the construction process starts automatically. By means of the integrated tool change cylinder principle, the build cylinder can travel out with the finished components, while the construction chamber remains inert with shield gas and is able to start immediately on the next job. This reduces downtimes and increases productivity.

The covered build cylinder can travel directly into the unpacking station, increasing machine availability and protecting users from powder exposure. Excess powder is returned to the Trumpf sieve station, capable of cleaning several hundred kilograms of powder per hour to maintain powder quality.

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