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Aluminum 3D Printing Using Directed Energy Deposition

Optomec has announced an advancement in capability for the company's LENS Directed Energy Deposition (DED) systems relative to AM and repair of aluminum alloys. "This innovation can be used to deposit any aluminum alloy, including those recently developed specifically for improved properties with additive manufacturing (AM) processing," said a company spokesperson.

This development for the Optomec DED process opens the transportation and aerospace industries to AM and repair of complex aluminum alloy parts using powder-based DED. Additionally, the use of Optomec's LENS simultaneous 5-axis system enables the processing of aluminum alloy parts with complex geometries without the need for support structures. "Deposition of aluminum alloys in a controlled atmosphere glove-box with very low levels of oxygen and moisture ensures achievement of components with superior mechanical properties," said the spokesperson.

David Otazu, LENS Applications Engineer, said, "Our engineers have developed process parameters for aluminum alloys to provide an excellent surface finish, high deposition rates and a density of ~99.9%. With this advancement, Optomec LENS systems can successfully process all common materials used for AM including steels, titanium, nickel, copper and now aluminum."

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