EOS to premiere million-laser polymer 3D printing at Formnext 2018

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Leading 3D printer manufacturer and service provider EOS, is to debut a new polymer 3D printing technology at Formnext 2018 in Frankfurt next week.

This technology, which is reportedly capable of replacing “injection molding in many contexts,” will be presented alongside a demo of Richard Browning’s 3D printed jetpack, and the company’s new quad laser EOS M 300-4 metal system as a production cell.

The new developments from the company are made to increase 3D printer outputs to an industrially-competitive scale, a key theme throughout the industry as we saw at last year’s Formnext, and a chief preoccupation for EOS and its partners.

The Digital Factory concept by EOS. Image via EOS
The Digital Factory concept by EOS. Image via EOS

3D printing with the power of a million lasers

EOS’s new polymer 3D printing technology is termed LaserProFusion. By harnessing the powder of one million diode lasers, the process promises production at up to 10 times the rate of existing systems, pushing output toward serial manufacturing. Dr. Tobias Abeln, CTO at EOS adds, “It [LaserProFusion] is a technology that can be an alternative to injection molding in many applications, respectively enables tool-free injection molding,”

“This will make industrial 3D printing attractive for a completely new market in the future.”

Polymer 3D printed part within the powder bed. Photo via EOS
Polymer 3D printed part within the powder bed. Photo via EOS

EOS Technology Readiness Levels

With the introduction of LaserProFusion, EOS is also launching Technology Readiness Level (TRL) classification for its developments. A concept created by NASA, TRL is a scale used to help determine the maturity of devices and materials throughout the development process. As an example, EOS states, “Level 5 […] refers to a verification of the technical solution, while the highest, level 9, refers to full production capability documented with extensive statistical data.”

The company will be introducing two TRL categories for its products. TRL 3 -6 will be used to refer CORE products, e.g. some early-stage copper materials, and TRL 7 -9 will be used for PREMIUM products which are suitable for use in serial manufacturing.

Powder exposure on the LaserProFusion. Photo via EOS
Powder exposure on the LaserProFusion. Photo via EOS

Metal 3D printing production cell

In addition, the EOS M 300-4 will be at the center of a production cell demonstration at the show. To this central system, EOS applies a number of software solutions, such as EOSPRINT 2, the EOSTATE Monitoring Suite, and EOSCONNECT, for factory integration and end-to-end management of the 3D printing process.

Gravity Industries’ 3D printing enabled jetpack will be demonstrated as an application of EOS metal additive manufacturing capabilities.

Visitors to Formnext 2018 can find EOS in hall 3.1, booth G50.

The Gravity Industries 3D printed jet pack thrusters. Photo via EOS
The Gravity Industries 3D printed jet pack thrusters. Photo via EOS

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Featured image shows diode lasers of EOS LaserProFusion technology. Photo via EOS

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