Metal printing is getting cheaper and more efficient as time goes on. While most news stories talk about technologies or materials, Optomec’s newest revelation goes in a different direction. The company that developed the famous LENS production technique has just unveiled what it calls ‘recipes’. Recipes are time-saving tools that aid customers in faster application of additive manufacturing. They have provided recipes for their LENS method and the Aerosol Jet Printing of electronics.
These recipes are an interesting concept. Optomec’s application experts developed these as a means of helping customers select and process materials best suited to meet their functional, performance and geometric requirements. Since metal printing requires so many factors to account for, Optomec’s customers save weeks of trial and error.
Advantages of Recipes
Recipes allow experts to test and verify the best methods of producing with various tech and materials. They can give an exact blueprint for companies on what results they can expect with which inputs. Since there are so many factors to consider in metal printing and not enough good information, these recipes can go a long way in clarifying precision processing.
“These proven, pre-qualified recipes save weeks of trial and error while also enabling customers to fully leverage the advanced features of our printers to produce quality results,” said Ken Vartanian, Vice President of marketing at Optomec. “Over the years we have screened hundreds of materials from a variety of suppliers and now want to make this knowledge available to our customers. These printing recipes represent an important first step in our strategy to provide digital products that facilitate additive manufacturing capabilities from design through volume manufacturing.”
Each recipe takes into account feedstock characteristics, machine set-up, processing parameters. They are also geometry-specific, allowing the process to take precise shapes into account. These recipes also apply to commercially available powders, so companies can easily repeat results and do tests. Additionally, optical and SEM images (as referenced above) showing the microstructure and morphology of samples printed using each recipe are provided.