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It was predicted years ago and now it’s happened: a desktop metal 3D printer. Not a desktop 3D printer with a metal frame but a desktop 3D printer that prints in metal. The Additec μPrinter can work with conventional metal powders as well as metal wire, which is much more affordable and safer to handle. Additec’s patented LMD-WP (Laser Metal Deposition-Wire Powder) Process is a form of direct energy deposition (DED) where a powerful laser melts a jetted stream of metal powder as it makes contact with the surface of the part, building up with repetitive layers.
In the Additec μPrinter, that’s three 200-watt diode lasers that focus their beams to create the melt pool; a five-laser, 1,000-watt upgrade is also available. Metal wire is fed through a central guide and metal powder is jetted through an annular gap nozzle around the wire guide, and it’s possible to switch between the different feedstocks mid-print without having to change the nozzle. Wire metal deposition is not common, so Additec...
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