Albuquerque, NM – May 6, 2020.  Optomec — a leading, privately-held global supplier of production-grade additive manufacturing (AM) equipment and software today announced an advancement in capability for the company’s LENS Directed Energy Deposition (DED) systems relative to AM and repair of aluminum alloys (photo below). This innovation can be used to deposit any aluminum alloy, including those recently developed specifically for improved properties with AM processing.

LENS DED system printing aluminum powder onto an aluminum substrate.

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.

David Otazu, LENS Applications Engineer states “Our engineers have developed process parameters for aluminum alloys to provide an excellent surface finish, high deposition rates and a density of ~99.9% (photos below).” With this advancement, Optomec LENS systems can successfully process all common materials used for AM including Steels, Titanium, Nickel, Copper, and now, Aluminum.

Aluminum alloy block deposited with LENS DED (left). Note the very smooth surface finish. Optical micrograph of polished and unetched sample from the same block (right). Note the low fraction of gas porosity (circles) measured at ~0.1% using image analysis with gray scale thresholding.

About Optomec

Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Systems for printed electronics and LENS 3D Printers for metal components are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Together, these unique printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 300 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the electronics, energy, life sciences and aerospace industries. For more information, visit optomec.com.