EOS LaserProFusion polymer 3D printing technology claims to replace injection molding

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Nov 9, 2018 | By Thomas

Krailling, Germany based industrial 3D printing systems maker EOS announced that it will introduce a “revolutionary technology for polymer additive manufacturing” at formnext 2018. The company claims that the new technology, called LaserProFusion, is the only additive manufacturing technology capable to replace injection molding.

Rather than using a single CO2-laser move back and forth to cover the entire build envelope, like in a  standard laser sintering process, EOS’ new LaserProFusion technology employs nearly one million diode lasers to melt the material and additively build parts layer by layer. The company claims that this build process is so productive that it can serve as an injection molding alternative for many applications.

The laser array can achieve a maximum total output of up to 5 kilowatts. For each layer, only the diode lasers that match the CAD data of the part are activated, down to the exact pixel. The new technology significantly shortens exposure times, regardless of the number of parts and their geometry.

In addition, EOS will be introducing a materials classification system called Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). Developed by NASA, TRL classifies materials and processes according to their technological maturity. EOS will divide its material products into two categories: TRL 3 to 6 refers to core products, whereas premium products are placed in the TRL 7 to 9 category and are suitable for use in serial manufacturing. Level 5, for example, refers to a verification of the technical solution, while the highest, level 9, refers to full production capability documented with extensive statistical data. The goal of TRL classification system is to provide manufacturers a validated data basis for additive serial applications.

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

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