The New LENS System is Ideally Suited for Material Research and Product Development Applications

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 20 May 2008: Optomec announced today that they are introducing a new LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) system for material research and product development applications. The LENS MR-7 is built on the foundation of proven LENS technology with special new features specifically designed to accelerate development of new alloys and metallic devices.

LENS technology uses energy from a high-power fiber laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powdered metals, alloys, ceramics or composites. The resulting fully functional three-dimensional components have mechanical properties that can be equivalent or even superior to wrought materials. LENS systems are installed today around the world and are being used for a wide range of additive manufacturing applications including the repair of high value metal aerospace and industrial gas turbine components, adding wear surfaces to biomedical devices, hybrid manufacturing, rapid prototyping of fully functional components, and more.

The LENS MR-7 system offers a 300mm cubed work envelope, making it ideal for the manufacture of test pieces and smaller components. An enhanced dual powder feeder system allows gradient materials to be made – every layer can have a different chemistry. This enables different material chemistries to be produced and analyzed in a single sample thereby speeding the development process. The new powder feeders are also designed to handle irregular powders. The LENS MR-7 also includes an integrated thermal imaging sensor enabling the researcher to gather data to establish process – microstructure – property relationships. This means that the researcher can quickly compare actual results to simulations and then iterate the design accordingly. And the LENS MR-7 process is conducted in a hermetically sealed chamber purged with argon to ensure the highest purity and material properties.

Dr. Brent Stucker, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Utah State University states, “as a researcher using the LENS process for 10 years, I have found it to be an outstanding tool for materials research and development. The LENS MR-7 system goes beyond previous LENS capabilities by giving researchers the ability to use more types of powdered materials and providing better monitoring and control of the melt pool. These added features make the new LENS MR-7 the best tool available for exploring a wide range of novel alloys and for developing products from advanced materials quickly and efficiently.”

Dr. Richard Grylls, LENS Product Manager at Optomec states “The LENS MR-7 was a natural extension of the LENS product line. Our global LENS customer base includes many leading universities and research institutions. Customer feedback enabled us to design and configure the LENS MR-7 with features and capabilities specifically suited for material research applications. The LENS MR-7 system is available today.”

A recent webinar titled “Accelerating R&D of Novel Alloys and Metallic Devices with LENS” provides more information on the LENS MR-7 system and application examples. The webinar is available at

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D Aerosol Jet technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.

LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia Corporation.

M3D is a registered trademark of Optomec, Inc.