DDM Systems, Inc. today announced the availability of its first line of LAMP™ commercial systems in Q2 2015. The system will feature a reconfigurable build volume allowing small-lot prototyping (10 inches x 10 inches x 12 inches) to production (24 inches x 24 inches x 24 inches). The system will include all material preparation, handling and post-processing sub-systems. DDM will also supply its proprietary software suite for digital build data preparation and design rule verification. Systems will be supplied with an initial set of ceramic material formulations optimized for the production of high quality industrial parts.
DDM's CEO Dr. Das stated that "We have been delighted by the upsurge of interest in our LAMP technology and have taken steps to accelerate the commercialization of this technology to meet immediate market demand."
Our LAMP technology platform disrupts ‘lost-wax’ investment casting methods used for thousands of years. The current investment casting process begins with the design and manufacture of tools and dies for injection molding of ceramic cores and wax patterns, ceramic core injection (to create the internal geometry including hollow passages), wax patterns (to define the external geometry), and a multilayer outer shell mold, then proceeds through casting and solidification in a furnace to create a shape that then requires labor-intensive handiwork and tooling to remove inaccuracies and add fine details. LAMP circumvents this lengthy, cumbersome multi-step process. And unlike other commercial 3DP technologies available, LAMP platforms invented at DDM Systems achieve the exacting tolerances and shape requirements inside and out for high-precision cores and integral-cored molds demanded by the state-of-the-art investment casting industry.
Our LAMP technology platform effectively integrates maskless optical imaging with UV light photopolymerization of liquid ceramic resins to produce cores and integral-cored shell molds directly from digital designs, layer-by-layer, using the fine-feature resolution and high throughput automation of scanning maskless lithography. Parts built with LAMP are post-processed through binder burnout and high-temperarture firing to produce ceramic articles with geometry and properties suitable for investment casting while meeting design intent.
Our patented LAMP technology offers an unprecedented ability to rapidly manufacture precision parts and components, en masse or in smaller batches, with macro-scale exterior dimensions (centimeters to tens of centimeters) and fine micro-scale interior features (tens to hundreds of microns). No tradeoffs are ever faced between resolution, object size, and production speed. Designs previously not manufacturable by investment casting become possible, without additional handiwork and long lead times. LAMP platforms efficiently replace costly multi-step and low-yield lost wax investment casting with custom optimized additive manufacturing that saves time, costs, material, and energy, without requiring additional handiwork or compromising on component performance.
DDM Systems is applying its LAMP Technology Platform for the rapid, low-cost primary manufacture of turbine engine hot-section components including airfoils, vanes, shrouds and panels in single-crystal (SX), directionally solidified (DS) and equiaxed (EQ) nickel-base superalloys. The LAMP platform builds ceramic cores and integral-cored molds for advanced component designs on-demand, in complex aerodynamic shapes, and with the faithful reproduction of hollow internal passages otherwise unachievable. No additional hard tooling or handiwork is required.
Through direct digital manufacturing (DDM) of ceramic cores, the LAMP platform eliminates 3 out of 12 major process steps in state-of-the art investment casting, i.e. core tooling design, core tooling manufacture, and ceramic injection, thereby eliminating the associated costs, lead time, rework and scrap. Through DDM of integral-cored molds, the LAMP platform eliminates 7 out of 12 major process steps in state-of-the art investment casting, i.e. core and wax tooling design, core and wax tooling manufacture, ceramic injection, wax injection, wax meltout, slurry coating, and stucco coating, thereby eliminating even more of the associated costs, lead time, rework and scrap.
Source: DDM Systems