Metal Rapid Manufacturing is a new freedom in design and manufacture, and has now become available for the production of metal prototypes and functional components.
Micropart with internal structures, Ti6Al4V
Recent technology developments and the increase in range of materials now allow the direct digital production of entirely functional metal components. Powders from conventional metal alloys (steel, stainless steel, titanium etc.) are molten to full density layer by layer. Typical layer thicknesses range from 20 to 40 µm, resulting in high process resolution and part accuracy. By taking advantage of the possibilities of this Rapid Manufacturing technology, very complex metal components which were previously impossible to produce conventionally, can now be manufactured with ease! Further advantages are the short lead times, the absence of tooling, function integration and an unprecedented production flexibility that makes metal Rapid Manufacturing a valuable tool for the production of unique components, customized products and small series.
Materialise wants to extend its additive manufacturing service with this innovative technology and considers the neighboring company “LayerWise”, a perfect partner.
Based on many years of experience and technology development in the domain of Rapid Manufacturing, LayerWise was founded as a spin-off company of the University of Leuven (Belgium). LayerWise not only focuses on prototyping, but opens up the potential for the serial production of metal components in stainless steel, tool steel and titanium alloys. The excellent material properties even allow the manufacturing of high strength tool inserts with integrated cooling.
Medical implant with integrated scaffold structure for facilitated bone ingrowth, Ti6Al4V
To take advantage of the opportunities of metal Rapid Manufacturing, LayerWise offers the following services:
ProtoWise: a guaranteed fast turn-around for prototyping parts in bronze, steel, stainless steel and titanium alloys
PartWise : consulting and manufacturing of small series up to 10.000 parts with unparalleled flexibility (steel, stainless steel and titanium alloys)
ToolWise: a cooperative approach towards the manufacturing of tool inserts in hardenable tool steel (55 hrc) with integrated conformal cooling to optimize cycle time and part quality
CustomWise: the production of customized instruments and implants out of medical grade alloys