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Rapid metal prototyping and tooling

: Klocke, F.; Celiker, T.; Song, Y.-A.; Clemens, U.

EARP. European Action on Rapid Prototyping (1996), No.6, pp.8
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPT ()
3D welding; CMB; controlled metal build up; injection mold; Rapid Prototyping; Rapid Tooling; repair of tools

In order to ensure that the prototype corresponds as closely as possible to the serial part subsequently to be manufactured, the materials used for the prototype should, wherever possible, be indentical to those used in production. In case of metallic parts, however, this demand is still not fulfilled by the available Rapid Prototyping techniques. Since only conventional manufacturing processes can currently be used to produce metallic prototypes directly, these are extremely cost and labour intensive. For this reason, work is being undertaken at the Fraunhofer IPT to develop methods of Manufacturing metallic parts directly. These include Laser Generating and Selective Laser Sintering (referred to SLS). The following article reports on the process developments of Laser Generating and SLS technology at the Fraunhofer IPT. As the present results show, both technologies have great application potentials in prototyping tools, especially molds and dies