Rapid Fabrication of Complex Designs into Functional Parts
For manufacturers that need to rapidly test new designs of industrial components or find a cost-effective production method for legacy components, Quad City Manufacturing Laboratory (QCML) offers 3D metal printing and laser cladding capabilities to create functional components, legacy parts, wear resistant coatings, and novel components topologically designed to take advantage of the unique fabrication capabilities provided by 3D metal printing.
3D metal printing is an innovative solution for creating metal components quickly without the costs of setting up a production line. Manufacturers can make complicated parts that would be difficult or impossible to create through traditional methods. 3D metal printing even allows 3D scan data to be uploaded and printed as a functional part. QCML offers Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) and Direct Energy Deposition (DED) 3D metal printing for a wide range of industries, including:
- General Manufacturing
Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) 3D Metal Printing
Powder Bed Fusion technology uses a blade to move and deposit metal powder across the surface of a substrate. A laser is then used to melt the powder in accordance with the geometry of the layer of the part. This process is then repeated through the entire height of the part.
Excelling at complex structures, powder bed fusion 3D printing technology can rapidly create a usable prototype that would be impossible using traditional manufacturing techniques. Legacy components can be 3D scanned from an existing part, converted to a solid model, and printed to create a replica.
QCML leverages a Renishaw 500S-Flex system and two EOS M270 systems for 3D metal printing.
Direct Energy Deposition (DED)
Our Direct Energy Deposition (DED) additive manufacturing technology utilizes powder feeders to blow powder through nozzles into a laser beam for deposition onto a substrate.
DED is typically used for applying wear-resistant material to the surface of a component to extend its service life. It may also be used to add material to pre-existing parts to correct for machining errors or other damage that would otherwise cause the part to be scrapped, or for adding features to a part that would be difficult or not possible to create with conventional manufacturing techniques.
QCML uses two customized DED systems for 3D printing – one with a controlled atmosphere that can be purged to 5ppm oxygen for reactive materials such as titanium, and one with ambient atmospheric conditions that uses an inert gas shield during processing for laser cladding applications. The former system has a build volume of 12” x 12” x 10”, while the latter has a build volume of 20” x 20” x 48”. QCML can develop custom laser cells as needed and works with a variety of materials, including nickel-tungsten carbide, titanium alloys, Inconel alloys, and steel alloys.
QCML is a Leading American Manufacturing R&D Resource
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