EOS, a leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, is showcasing its Fine Detail Resolution (FDR) technology for processing polymers at the formnext trade show in Frankfurt (November 19–22, 2019, hall 11.1, stand D31).
EOS developed a solution for powder-based industrial 3D printing using a CO laser. This will make it possible to produce extremely delicate yet robust parts with fine detail resolution surfaces and minimum wall thicknesses of only 0.22 mm. It will open up applications for series production and will offer an even broader variety to the industry when it comes to choosing the right 3D printing technology from EOS for processing polymers.
FDR is suitable wherever delicate structures, surfaces with a fine detail resolution and thin wall thicknesses are requirements. Unlike the existing EOS product range, a 50-watt CO laser is being used for this. This laser type creates an ultra-fine laser beam with a focus diameter that is only half the size of current SLS technologies. This enables new exposure parameters resulting in parts with superfine surfaces. Initially, the certified material PA 1101 is used. It is processed in layer thicknesses of 40 and 60 µm and features high impact resistance and elongation at break. Moreover, it is made from renewable raw materials.
The FDR technology is for the EOS polymer production platform and opens up options in the field of polymer-based additive manufacturing, such as for filter units and fluid channels, plugs, and other electronic components as well as consumer goods such as eyeglasses. EOS is presenting this technological concept with the aim of obtaining some early market and customer feedback.
Dr. Tim Rüttermann, Senior Vice President Polymer Division says: “The new technology will combine the best of two worlds – the detailed resolution of stereolithography with the durability and quality of selective laser sintering. In future, depending on application requirements, customers will be able to choose between the existing EOS P 500 version with a CO2 laser for high productivity and material flexibility; or the CO laser-based FDR technology for manufacturing delicate components; or, if the focus is on maximum productivity with dedicated application material, they can decide for the upcoming EOS LaserProFusion technology concept showcased at the formnext 2018.”
EOS P 500 SLS technology: high productivity and material flexibility
The EOS P 500 platform is primarily designed for companies that want to produce high-quality polymer components reproducibly on an industrial scale using additive manufacturing. In an initial step, a CO2 laser with a laser output of 2x 70 watts will be used on the platform. This efficient, automatable system makes it possible to minimize costs per part and process polymer material classes such as PA 12, PA 11, PA 6, TPU, and other high-performance polymers. The use of this platform will also open up applications in the mobility and automotive industry as well as in the manufacturing of electronic components.
EOS LaserProFusion: for highly productive injection molding tool-free
Compared with the FDR technology, EOS LaserProFusion technology is for maximum productivity with a focus on quality. In contrast to the above-mentioned solutions, up to 1 million diode lasers with a maximum accumulated laser power of over 5 kilowatts are used here. The exposure speed is independent of the component geometry. This technology is geared to the requirements of series production, shortens product development times, enables tool-free injection molding, and can even be used as a replacement for injection molding in many applications. EOS LaserProFusion can therefore cut costs by up to 20%.