Metal 3D Printer Incorporates Milling for Single-Process Part Production

Sodick’s first foray into direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is the OPM250L, a metal 3D printer that incorporates high-speed milling so that workpieces can be machined before printing is complete, with alternating passes of laser sintering and milling.

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Sodick’s first foray into direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is the OPM250L, a metal 3D printer that incorporates high-speed milling so that workpieces can be machined before printing is complete, with alternating passes of laser sintering and milling. The company says the machine is primarily aimed at moldmakers, as the ability to create conformal cooling channels within a finished mold can improve mold performance by reducing cooling time, deformation and cycle time. The combined additive/machining technology also makes it possible to reduce the number of parts necessary to produce a mold, Sodick says.

To meet the demands of the integrated machine, the company also has developed Z-Asso, a dedicated CAM system capable of importing CAD data, generating laser and machining data, optimizing cutting along high-load areas, and simulating the process to accurately estimate production time.