EOS has announced the new EOS M 400, a next-generation metal system that the company says will improve additive manufacturing processes.
According to EOS, the system enables the manufacture of larger components. In addition, the EOS M 400 delivers improved quality assurance and is easier to use. The commercialization of the basic model begins in the spring of 2014, with the global distribution planned from the summer.
"EOS is pursuing a platform-based strategy for the metal technology and is able to support its customers from the research and development phase, through to series production. The EOS M 400 represents the key to the industrial series utilization of additive manufacturing," said Adrian Keppler, managing director of EOS. "If the EOSINT M 270 and EOSINT M 280 models have set the technical benchmarks, then the EOS M 400 takes these a step further. The new system supports users not only in the context of its qualification for production, but also in actual manufacturing applications."
The EOS M 400 is based on a modular concept. The manufacturing solution is initially available with both set-up and process stations. Within a year, an automated unpacking station will also be available. With this extension of the system, an exchangeable frame, including components and residual powder, is moved following the build process from the process station to the unpacking station. Here, the job will be cleaned of all loose and excess powder by way of a clean-up program comprising rotation and vibration. According to EOS, the modular concept makes it possible to incorporate the unpacking station retroactively to expand on the set-up and process stations.
The building chamber measures 400 x 400 x 400 mm, so that larger components can now be produced. The first extension to the basic model, with its corresponding processes, will initially be offered with the EOS Aluminum AlSi10Mg and EOS NickelAlloy IN718 materials, and is suited for use in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Processes for further materials are still in the development phase, including both tool steel and titanium.
The laser has a performance of up to 1,000 watts, allowing the use of new materials that require more powerful lasers. Additionally, the filter from the air filtration system is automatically cleaned and has a significantly longer use-life. EOS has also further optimized both the monitoring and reporting functions, enabling the user to take advantage of advancements in quality control.
EOS also introduced the EOS P 396 production system for the manufacture of plastic parts. The successor model to the EOSINT P 395, the company says it features the latest CO2-laser generation and a completely revised temperature regulation enable double-digit increases in productivity. Global distribution of the EOS P 396 begins in April 2014.
"With the presentation of the EOS P 396 we are sustaining a leading role in plastics-based additive manufacturing, a position that stands alongside our metals technology. The EOS P 396 seamlessly supersedes our highly successful EOSINT P 395 model in the mid-frame segment. We have made a number of improvements that allow our customers to produce both plastic prototypes and serial parts with an even higher quality and cost efficiency," Keppler said.
According to EOS, primary processing times are shortened with the introduction of a new laser. The energy and material consumption of the system per manufactured component also has been improved.
A newly integrated point pyrometer continually measures the temperature of the powder surface for coating with a high degree of precision. This enables secondary processing times to be further reduced, leading to a corresponding increase in productivity. With the availability of Release 3.7 of the EOS process-software (PSW) at the start of series production, the functional scope has been expanded, and Windows 7 is now supported. The building capacity of the EOS P 396 is in line with that of its predecessor, at 340 x 340 x 600 mm.
Plastic materials PA 2200 and PrimePart PLUS (PA 2221) will be commercially available for the system from April 2014. Further materials will follow over several stages, until all of the powders approved for the predecessor system are available.
For more information, visit EOS.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.