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Recent developments in metal laminated tooling by multiple laser processing

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

Bourell, D.L. ; Univ. of Texas, Austin:
Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium 2002. Proceedings : August 5 - 7, 2002
Austin: Univ. of Texas, 2002
Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF) <13, 2002, Austin/Tex.>
Fraunhofer IWS ()

Time reduction and quick geometrical changes of complex components and tools are currently the most important demands in product development. The manufacturing process presented in this paper is based on multiple additive and subtractive technologies such as laser cutting, laser welding, direct laser metal deposition and CNC milling. The process chain is similar to layer-based Rapid Prototyping Techniques. In the first step, the 3D CAD geometry is sliced into layers by a specially developed software. These slices are cut by high speed laser cutting and then joined together. In this way laminated tools are parts are built. To improve surface quality and to increase wear resistance a CNC machining center is used. The system consists of a CNC milling machine, in which a 3 kW Nd:YAG laser, a coaxial powder nozzle and a digitizing system are integrated.