Capability Speeds Qualification Process for the Repair of High Value Metal Components with LENS 3D Printer

Albuquerque, New Mexico. 08 January 2012:Optomec today announced availability of an enhanced ThermaViz thermal imaging capability for its family of LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) metal 3D Printers. ThermaViz, which is developed by Stratonics, Inc, is an advanced system that provides high-resolution, high accuracy thermal images showing temperature maps in and around the LENS melt pool. With new features and improved software, the enhanced ThermaViz system adds new user-friendly features that speed the LENS qualification process for repair and rework of high value metal components.

Dr. Kathy Flores, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St. Louis, is one of the leading users of the LENS ThermaViz feature . She stated: “We selected the Optomec LENS system thanks to its industry-leading capability in laser additive manufacturing. Using the enhanced ThermaViz Thermal Imaging capability, we have measured temperatures in and around the LENS process melt-pool with accuracy and precision. Measured temperatures have been shown to correlate very well with thermal models of the process. The combination of the LENS process with the ThermaViz system has provided a significant benefit to our team speeding materials research and development”.

Optomec LENS 3D Printing systems are used to cost-effectively repair and rework high-performance metal components in materials such as titanium, stainless steel, and superalloys. LENS systems use the energy from a high-power laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powdered metals. The resulting fully functional material offers excellent mechanical properties, similar to forged components for many applications. LENS systems are used throughout the entire product lifecycle for applications ranging from Materials Research to Repair and Rework to Low Volume Manufacturing.

Using Stratonics ThermaViz system to monitor melt pool temperature and cooling rate, valuable process control information is available to the user. The ThermaViz capability is in production use at a number of LENS customer sites and measured results have correlated well with predicted results thereby reducing new material and process development time and cost. New features include the ability to measure temperatures as low as 600C, the ability to capture images at higher frame rates, and more. Details are available here.

Optomec is a leader in the emerging field of Additive Manufacturing. Its patented solutions are gaining traction in end markets ranging from Consumer Electronics, to Energy and Life Sciences, to Aerospace and Defense. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet® solution is used to produce 2D/3D Printed Electronics, reducing the size and cost of electronic systems by using nano-materials to directly print fine feature circuitry, embedded components and miniaturized devices. The Company’s LENS® solution is a 3D Printer for Metals that is used to fabricate and repair high value metal components. Optomec is a growing, US-based small business with a global customer base of more than 150 marquee users.