A new generation of systems for Additive Manufacturing

by Hans Diederichs

During the "Innovation Days 2019" event, which hosted more than 300 visitors at the Prima Industrie Headquarters in Collegno (TO), the Group opened the doors of its Advanced Laser Center, the new facility of about 4000 m2 dedicated to research and innovation of advanced laser manufacturing systems. The premises are built with the latest sustainable building criteria and uses geothermal systems and solar panels to minimize environmental impact.

The new facility is part of a wider program for the renewal of the group's sites in Torino area, which began in 2016 with the construction of the new Collegno Headquarters and Tech Center, which will be completed within the next year with the construction of the new production plant for laser machines, currently located in another area of the city. The total investment on the territory is around 25 million euros and will allow Prima Industrie to increase efficiency bringing the sites closer together in a single large complex, improving the customer experience in the areas dedicated to visitors, and being able to count on more modern and organized work environments.

During the Innovation Days 2019 the new generation of systems for the additive manufacturing of metal components by Prima Additive, the Division of the Prima Industrie group specialized in turnkey solutions for Additive Manufacturing, were presented. The innovations shown during the event cover both AM technologies: Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) and Direct Energy Deposition (DED).

The new systems have been designed following the group's Open Innovation approach, which focuses on the needs and applications of customers, ensuring a close partnership with the end users of the technologies and a strong adherence to market demands.

At the Innovation Days Prima Industrie presented the Print Genius 250, the new PBF machine with a construction volume of 262x262x350 mm, suitable for the production of medium-sized components. Print Genius 250 is equipped with a 2-line filter unit for the recirculation of the gas inside the work area, which maintains a high degree of cleanliness of the machine and minimizes the replacement of parts subject to wear. The new HMI allows to monitor in real-time the building environment, the building plate, the dispenser, the recoater, and generates reports with all traceable key printing parameters.

The PBF machine is suitable for the processing of a wide range of materials: stainless steel, maraging steel, high-temperature nickel-base alloy (Inconel), titanium, cobalt-chromium, aluminium and copper alloys, and high strength steel.

The guests were also able to see the Print Sharp 250 PBF machine at work, with a construction volume of 250x250x300mm. The system is equipped with the Convergent CS450 proprietary laser, the high efficiency fiber source developed thanks to the deep experience of the Prima Industrie Group in the field of laser technologies. The Print Sharp 250 combines high quality of the components produced, both in terms of surface and mechanical characteristics, with an excellent quality-price ratio.

The Laserdyne 430 DED was also presented, the compact and accurate laser metal deposition platform with a working volume of 585x400x500 mm, a high build rate (max 40-50 cm3/h – typical 20 cm3/h ), and excellent end-part properties, suitable for 3D fabrication, reworking, and repairing. The machine is equipped with the Advanced Head, the innovative multi-purpose DED laser head with modular design that can be mounted in different configurations to adapt to multiple laser processes. Some of the strengths of the new head are the fusion pool monitoring, the pressurized optical path that avoids dust infiltration, and the water-cooled additive-made nozzle for continuous deposition, which reduces the risk of powder adhesion during the process. The head also offers easy maintenance and fast alignment of the powder / laser spot.

Source and photo: Prima Industrie  S.p.A.

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