Increasingly, additive manufacturing developers are introducing systems for serialized production. The Renishaw RenAM 500M, for example, builds complex metallic components directly from CAD using metal powder bed fusion technology. It is the first in a family of products based around Renishaw’s optical systems and control technology. Its ergonomic design includes safety features, as well as intuitive and automated capabilities.
The machine manufactures parts within the 250 mm x 250 mm x 350 mm build volume (9.84 x 9.84 x 13.77 in.) and uses a high powered ytterbium fiber laser to fuse fine metallic powders together for functional 3-dimensional parts.
In-line sieving allows powder to be recycled and re-used in a single process under an inert atmosphere, reducing user interaction and turnaround time. Metallic powder is loaded into the machine hopper at the front of the system and sieved ultrasonically. Any un-melted material is returned to the hopper and passes through the ultrasonic sieve before being processed. Sieved powder is pneumatically transferred in a flow of high purity argon gas into the powder delivery silo.
The RenAM 500M features a patented high capacity twin SafeChange filter system enabling builds to run for long periods in a stable and controlled atmosphere. Filters capture process emissions safely and efficiently and the machine’s intelligent control system actively senses the filter’s condition and redirects the gas circuit to a clean filter before conditions deteriorate. Powder sieving and recirculation are automatically carried out within the compact system, reducing the need for manual handling and exposure to materials, which provides increased safety and sustained quality of the metal powders.
The RenAM 500M is intended for a single material type, lights-out manufacturing environment and provides a higher level of automation compared to the AM250 and AM400 platforms.
Inherently intuitive, the large 480 mm (19 in.), durable touchscreen and machine control software is easy to navigate through every process step. Based on a Windows operating system with a dedicated user interface, large icons show the build set-up workflow for clear and straightforward operation. It has been specifically developed to accept future upgrades.
You can see it at IMTS 2016, Renishaw booth E-5509 in the East Building of Chicago’s McCormick Place.