EOS launched a new generation of plastic laser-sintering systems, comprising one new machine and two improved models, at the recent EuroMold exhibition in Frankfurt.
The new FORMIGA P 100 offers cost-effective and flexible entry into the world of laser-sintering, enabling plastic products to be produced directly from CAD data in less than 24 hours. The machine has a compact footprint and a height of just 195cm, so may be situated in practically any production environment. The build envelope of 200 x 250 x 330mm is excellent for economic manufacture of small batches and individual products with complex geometries, such as high-value consumer goods and medical devices - or even components for specialist one-off or series machines.
A technical innovation is the ability to build vertical walls with high surface quality. The extremely fine focus diameter of the laser enables wall thicknesses down to 0.4mm to be created for manufacturing small, filigree components such as connectors, for example. The dispensing and recoating system has also been redesigned to increase product quality and reduce powder consumption.
The machine is said to be easy to use and requires only a minimum of accessories. Preparation and control of the building process is conveniently carried out at the user's desk, so the FORMIGA P 100 lends itself to decentralised production.
Twenty-three parts of the FORMIGA P 100 itself have been laser-sintered, from the filling hopper for the plastic powder to the switch cover, demonstrating the practicality of the manufacturing process.
More innovations from EOS
Other innovations at the show were the new EOSINT P 730 and EOSINT P 390. The former is an advanced version of the P 700, which is claimed to be the only double-laser system for plastic laser-sintering. Depending on component geometry, the system is up to 40 per cent more productive than the P 700", according to Florian Pfefferkorn, Product Manager at EOS. The EOSINT P 390 also offers increased productivity combined with better surface quality. Also presented was a new version of the process software, PSW 3.3, with extra features to support the use of laser-sintering for series production.
New metal materials
EOS launched several new titanium alloy powders as well as MaragingSteel MS1, all of which will be available in the next few months. The titanium alloys open up applications in the aerospace and medical industries, especially for implants. MaragingSteel MS1, a martensite-hardening, high-strength, 18 maraging 300 steel (type 1.2709), offers a significant increase in quality, in particular for tooling manufacture.
"Due to its toughness and hardness, EOS MaragingSteel MS1 is ideally suited to producing highly-stressed tooling inserts," emphasised Ralph Mayer, managing partner of LBC GmbH, a selected pilot customer for the new material. "It is at least on a par with, or even superior to, conventional tool steels."
On the stand also were other metals recently launched by EOS, namely CobaltChrome MP1 and StainlessSteel 17-4.