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Recent development in laminated tooling by multiple laser processing

: Nowotny, S.; Himmer, T.; Techel, A.; Beyer, E.

Beyer, E.:
ICALEO 2002, 21st International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics. Congress proceedings. CD-ROM : October 14 - 17, 2002, Scottsdale, Ariz., USA
Orlando, Fla.: LIA, 2002 (LIA 94)
ISBN: 0-912035-72-2
ISBN: 978-0-912035-72-7
Section D: Laser Systems and Applications
International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro Optics (ICALEO) <21, 2002, Scottsdale/Ariz.>
Laser Materials Processing Conference <2002, Scottsdale/Ariz.>
Laser Microfabrication Conference <2002, Scottsdale/Ariz.>
Fraunhofer IWS ()

The quick manufacturing of large metal forming tools, e.g. for car body parts, is a novel and promising application of the Metal-LOM technique. The acronym stands for "Metal Laminated Object Manufacturing", i.e. the metal variant of the established prototyping technique, which classically uses paper as build-up material. In the solution presented in horizontal or vertical layers by a specially developed software. Subsequently, steel sheets with a typical thickness of around 1 mm are cut according to these slices, stacked, and joined to a package. The steel slice are manufactured by high-speed laser cutting, and the joining technique can be laser welding, diffusion welding or other, mechnical/thermal combination techniques. In a laser integrated 5-axes CNC milling center, the active tool parts are clad with wear-resistant coatings by laser or plasma transferred arc cladding. Laser assisted plasma spraying is available for the tool's surface treatment as well. Also, smaller parts of the tools of complex shape can be produced by laser build-up welding directly onto the sheet package. In the end, the final contour of the tool is produced by CNC milling. The aims of the running research project are the reduction of tooling time from 16 to one week, tool dimensions in the meter-range and an application adapted tool life.