Sodick to Exhibit OPM, Parallel 3D Printing in Metal at RAPID+TCT

May 2, 2017 9:32 am

(Schaumburg, IL) – Machine Tool Manufacturer Sodick will be exhibiting the latest in Metal Additive Manufacturing technologies at RAPID+TCT in Pittsburg, booth #2223.  Sodick first launched their 3D Metal Printer, the OPM250L, last September at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). This hybrid DMLS system utilizes a powder bed metal laser sintering process in conjunction with a 45,000 rpm mill to produce high-accuracy parts with superior surface finish. Sodick has since introduced a new productivity boosting technology, “Parallel Mode,” which redefines the machine’s process speed.

Sodick’s unique technology, unlike competitor systems, does not rely on the costly solution of simply adding more laser units to the machine. While Parallel mode grows parts at three locations simultaneously, the OPM requires only a single beam to accomplish this task. That is because most laser sintering equipment must take fumes and shape deviation into consideration when generating the laser path. For this reason, the laser unit is not necessarily utilized at full capacity during processing. In parallel mode, the OPM makes optimal use of the laser unit by targeting multiple locations simultaneously, revolutionizing productivity.

In addition to efficiency considerations, Parallel Mode is suited to a wide variety of applications and can be used not just to create replicas of the same part, but also to produce singular large parts in less time. Unlike multi-beam designs, which often utilize separate work envelopes, parallel mode is not limited to one beam per quadrant. This means that a workpiece covering only one part of the work table will benefit from parallel mode just as much as if it had covered the entire table.

Parallel Mode additionally benefits from a recently upgraded fume collector issued standard with the OPM. Sodick’s newly available fume collector lasts significantly longer than the previous iteration, allowing it not only to run longer between maintenance cycles, but also to easily accommodate the fumes produced by parallel mode’s increased productivity. Altogether, these advancements fit within Sodick’s larger strategy of optimizing the central technologies of Metal 3D Printing, allowing the user to reliably print finished, high-density parts that would otherwise be impossible to produce.

The Sodick OPM grows three separate parts simultaneously with the new Parallel Mode

Parallel Mode automatically optimizes the laser path, enabling three locations to sinter simultaneously, even on the same work piece

 

When the OPM was released in September, the expected sinter time for this part was 22:05 hours. Today, with Parallel Mode, the expected sinter time is below 9:50 hours

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