Optomec has been designing and manufacturing DED metal printers for over 20 years. Optomec DED 3D printers for pure metal component production and repair are used by the aerospace industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Optomec has delivered more than 600 of its proprietary additive manufacturing systems to more than 200 marquee customers around the world. Optomec’s Additive Manufacturing (AM) repair processes are currently used in high volume production for other turbine engine parts worldwide, having repaired more than 10 million components.
Directed Energy Deposition (DED)
Optomec offers a full range of DED additive manufacturing solutions for creating, enhancing and repairing metal components. Optomec systems use directed energy deposition (DED), where high-powered lasers build structures layer by layer directly from wires and powdered metals, alloys, ceramics or composites to produce fully-dense parts with excellent mechanical and fatigue properties. Optomec DED systems process common engineering materials such as stainless steels, tool steels, titanium alloys, and cobalt alloys. Optomec DED technology can also process other materials including zirconium, tantalum, tungsten, aluminum, bronze, refractory metals and some ceramics. These materials are available in powder form from a variety of commercial suppliers. In general, the LENS process produces fully-dense material that has mechanical properties at least equal or better than cast material, and in some cases very similar to forged material.
- Repairing parts by manual welding is a long, laborious process with many process variables.
- Repair of parts by manual welding can result in unacceptable part distortion.
- Not all new parts with complex geometries can be manufactured by CNC machining.
Technology Solution Statement:
DED repair can be automated with programming to control the process variables and lower repair costs. In addition, DED of part repair produces a very small heat affected zone (HAZ) and therefore does not distort parts.
DED can produce complex metal part geometries that cannot be accomplished with traditional CNC machining.