More government agencies and manufacturers are sourcing laser sintering for direct part production. In contrast to traditional manufacturing methods, laser sintering can deliver plastic parts with highly complex geometries with impressive strength-to-weight ratios. In many cases, hundreds of parts can be directly manufactured from 3D CAD digital models long before tooling is available and in certain applications eliminate tooling costs altogether.
To meet this growing need for prototype to production, Paramount Industries, Inc. announced it now has an EOSINT P 800, a high temperature laser sintering system made by EOS GmbH, Germany, that can process engineered polymers like polyaryl ether ketone (PAEK) and polyether ether ketone (PEEK) used for direct part production.
“High temperature laser sintering is a 3D printing process that is growing in popularity for making strong plastic production parts,” said Jim Williams, CEO, Paramount. “As early adopters, our goal is to integrate this technology across all industries so manufacturers can benefit from its unique advantages. While it is true that aerospace, defense, energy, medical and transportation are natural consumers, there are many more industries that will benefit from this processing and material technology.”
The EOSINT P 800 can process temperatures up to 385° C (725° F). Of all the additive manufacturing/3D printing technologies, laser sintering offers the highest levels of manufacturing flexibility for end-use parts. PAEKs offer the highest levels of performance among polymers.
Since 2008 Paramount Industries has led the development of the high temperature laser sintering process. The company qualified the process through an extensive U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) R&D effort integrating laser sintering technology and materials science to deliver complex parts for military weapon systems. Paramount is successfully moving into SBIR Phase III, shifting into production with unfilled PAEKs and carbon-fiber-reinforced PAEKs.
The laser sintering PAEKs offer temperature resistance, processing stability, mechanical performance, resistance to hydrolysis, and flame retardant characteristics that make them ideal candidates for aerospace applications. The carbon-fiber-reinforced PAEKs offer additional electrostatic dissipative characteristics and higher tensile modulus. These new materials combined with Paramount’s advanced coatings and surface finishes broaden the material selection and design options and increases the range of applications.
“Paramount continues to advance the development of laser sintering materials and processing. My team is absolutely thrilled to add the EOSINT P 800 to Paramount’s additive manufacturing tool box,” Williams added.
Paramount Industries, Inc.