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RPM Innovations, Inc. Rapid City, SD

Laser Freeform Manufacturing Technology (LFMT)

Sub-links: Repair (LRT) | Cladding (LCT) | Freeform Manufacturing (LFMT)

Laser Free Form Manufacturing Technology Laser 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.

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Place your mouse over the smaller image on the left to show the larger image on the right.

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
Laser Freeform Manufacturing Technology
Laser Freeform Manufacturing Vanepack Sample - Top View
Vanepack Sample - Top View
Laser Freeform Manufacturing Vanepack Sample - Close Up
Vanepack Sample - Close Up
Laser Freeform Manufacturing Vanepack Sample - Before Surface Finishing
Vanepack Sample - Before Surface Finishing
Laser Freeform Manufacturing Vanepack Sample - After Surface Finishing
Vanepack Sample - After Surface Finishing
Laser Freeform Manufacturing Vanepack Sample

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).

Additive Manufacturing Sample Part Formula SAE Upright - 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.

 
Additive Manufacturing Sample - Upright After Laser Deposit
Laser Deposition Process
Additive Manufacturing Sample - Upright Installed
Upright After Laser Deposit
Additive Manufacturing Sample - Upright After Laser Deposit
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%
Ribbed Bracket Test #1
 
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%
Ribbed Bracket Test #2
 

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About RPM Innovations

About RPM Innovations (0)

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.