Development of a substrate unit for LPBF to increase automatization in manufacturing process chains
Additive processes enable a flexible production of individual and complex formed components. Particularly in the manufacturing of individually adapted components, such as in medical technology, or for complex shaped components, such as in the turbo industry, reworking on conventional machines is necessary to reach the technological requirements in terms of surface quality and shape tolerances. However, the more complicated the geometric shape of the component is, the more complex the referencing and clamping on conventional machines becomes. New clamping systems are necessary for individual components, which can take several weeks to manufacture so that the degree of automation within the production process chain decreases. The paper presents a novel substrate unit, which allows the components to be produced additively on connecting elements. Compared to the conventional substrate plate, only the connecting elements are consumables, which enables the substrate unit itself to be used as a carrier clamping system through the process chain over a zero-point clamping system. The components can be removed from the substrate plate using a simple release mechanism. The degree of automation can be increased within the process chain.