To give engineers more flexibility when using additive manufacturing systems, global engineering technology company Renishaw has launched a new line of 3D printing machines. The RenAM 500S Flex, a single laser additive manufacturing (AM) machine, and the RenAM 500Q Flex, a four-laser additive manufacturing machine, are variants of the RenAM 500 range. Both systems feature a handling system. Streamlined powder, suitable for manufacturers who regularly need to interchange building materials during production, such as research and development (R&D), pre-production, or office environments.
The range features the same advanced optical, chamber and gas flow designs as the RenAM 500 series and produces the same high quality parts, but also offers additional flexibility when changing powder. The streamlined, non-recirculating powder system allows manufacturers in R&D, pre-production or office environments to easily change materials, without compromising part quality or manufacturing capability.
To avoid cross-contamination, engineers can easily clean the system between powders by replacing hard-to-clean parts, rather than manufacturers having to invest in a new machine for each material test. Parts can also be replaced if the operator wishes to test the same material again, further reducing costs.
âManufacturers can quickly change RenAM 500S Flex and RenAM 500Q Flex powders in-house, giving them the flexibility they need to meet customer demand,â said Lily Dixon, AM project manager at Renishaw. “Once the pre-production stage is complete, the common build environment allows all parameters to be transferred directly to a RenAM 500Q with powder recirculation, without the need to re-test the gas flow, the chamber and optics. Manufacturers can also build full-size parts on a small scale before mass production.
Dixon continued, âIf the manufacturer no longer needs a flexible AM ââsystem, the Flex can even be converted to a recirculating machine – a feature unique to this system. The system conversion gives manufacturers the highest productivity AM option for series production.