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RPM Innovations, Inc. Rapid City, SD

Laser Freeform Manufacturing Technology (LFMT)

Sub-links: LASER REPAIR (LRT) | LASER CLADDING TECHNOLOGY (LCT) | LASER FREEFORM MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY (LFMT)

Laser Free Form Manufacturing TechnologyLaser Freeform Manufacturing Technology (LFMT) is used to deposit "freeforms" of near-net-shape metal components, which are nearly 100% dense with mechanical properties comparable to wrought materials, directly from processed CAD files. Freeforms may be thin wall (minimum 0.060 in. thick) or solid builds to any thickness. Other similar terms for this process include additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

First a CAD file of the desired part must be provided. Next this file is modified and processed by the system software where the tool path for the laser is generated. A target plate is required as a base to start the build. The target plate may be incorporated into the final part or may simply be removed when the freeform build is complete. Thermal treatments and CMM scans of the completed freeform builds may be required depending on the specific application. The largest freeforms deposited to date are 60 inches long and 4 feet in height.

LFMT has many applications.  LFMT can manufacture components with high aspect ratio features such as structural components for aircraft bulk heads or spars. The figures below show a variety of LFMT thin wall freeforms. Special pipes, creative hollow shapes, and hollow stem engine valves are just a few examples of the wide open potential applications for this capability.

Contact Us about the details of your project.

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Freeform Samples


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Sample Freeform Parts
  Sample Freeform Parts  
Freeform Part Being Built By Laser
  Freeform Part Being Built By Laser  
Sample Freeform Part
  Sample Freeform Part  
Sample Freeform Part
  Sample Freeform Part  
Sample Freeform Part
  Sample Freeform Part  

Vanepack Samples


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Vanepack Sample - Top View
  Vanepack Sample - Top View  
Vanepack Sample - Close Up
  Vanepack Sample - Close Up  
Vanepack Sample - Before Surface Finishing
  Vanepack Sample - Before Surface Finishing  
Vanepack Sample - After Surface Finishing
  Vanepack Sample - After Surface Finishing  

Case Study: Ti-6Al-4V Laser Freeform For SDSM&T Formula SAE Team

RPM Innovations built an upright to be used for a Formula SAE racing car for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology racing team. The part was designed and delivered as a CAD drawing file. The drawing file was converted to a machine tool path file that was used to build the part using our Laser Freeform Manufacturing Technology (LFMT).

     
Laser Deposition Process
Laser Deposition Process
  • Laser freeform manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V Uprights for South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Formula SAE Team.

Laser Deposition Process
Laser Deposition Process
Upright After Laser Deposit
Upright After Laser Deposit
Upright Installed
Upright Installed

Case Study: Ti-6Al-4V Ribbed Brackets

 

     
Ti-6AI-4V Ribbed Bracket With Cross Hatching
Material Laser Power
(watts)
Inch^3/hr. lbs./hr. Efficiency
Ti-6AI-4V 3000 9.77 1.56 59%
 

Ti-6AI-4V Small Ribbed Bracket With Contour Only
Material Laser Power
(watts)
Inch^3/hr. lbs./hr. Efficiency
Ti-6AI-4V 3000 12.25 1.96 78%

 

About RPM Innovations

About RPM and Associates

Building real parts from CAD files. RPM’s two laser deposition labs can employ freeform laser manufacturing which can drastically reduce Research and Development time and expense.