Metal 3D Printer Monitors Its Own Builds
Tom Lansford posted on January 22, 2016 |
EOS shows new industrial 3D printer models at Formnext.

EOS was on hand at Formnext in Frankfurt, Germany, to emphasize its expertise in industrial 3D printing and its ability to make larger, faster, smaller and higher-quality 3D-printed parts.

EOS 3D printers can produce strong and light titanium parts. (All images courtesy of the author.)
EOS 3D printers can produce strong and light titanium parts. (All images courtesy of the author.)

EOS Germany has teamed up with a German partner to produce a product that monitors the 3D printing build quality in real time, which, according to the company, will reduce production risks and improve quality.


Real-Time Quality Monitoring and Analysis during the 3D Printing Build

The EOSTATE MeltPool Monitoring is an add-on module. It monitors the process during direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) builds. It analyzes the build at each point and each layer, thereby monitoring the build process for each part. 

Given the company’s focus on industrial 3D printing applications and its experience in metal printing, it is not surprising that EOS recognized the need for improved quality processes. Every manufacturing engineer understands the need for a thorough, traceable quality process.  

EOS cooperated with Plasmo Industrietechnik GmbH to develop the process, which directly observes the build process using photodiodes, a camera adapter, a signal amplifier and spectral filters. The physical observation data is analyzed using multiple algorithms and 2D and 3D mappings. 

The quality parameters are set by the user according to production requirements. The tool provides live monitoring and allows customers to identify potential build errors automatically. This reduces quality assurance costs.


A Smaller Production-Quality Metal 3D Printer

At Formnext 2015, EOS also presented the new EOS M 100 3D printer. It enables customers to enter into direct metal 3D printing with an affordable investment.

The DMLS process running on an EOS M 100.
The DMLS process running on an EOS M 100.

The new product is based on the technology offered in the EOS M 290, which is already established in the market. The device uses a round print envelope of 100 mm. An example provided on the show floor was the production of 70 dental crowns and bridges in about three hours. 

New metal 3D printing powders will be available in 2016 including this titanium powder.
New metal 3D printing powders will be available in 2016 including this titanium powder.

The EOS M 100 produces chrome and stainless-steel parts today. It will be able to produce titanium Ti64 parts when the material becomes available in 2016. The company claims that the 200-W fiber laser has a beam quality and stability that allows for consistent quality parts. It combines this with a smaller laser spot that has a very detailed resolution. The combination enables the EOS M 100 to produce small, complex pieces. 

The company has tried to address production requirements by creating peripheral equipment that supports industrial production and minimizes powder contact during production. EOS has developed an efficient recoating and exposure strategy that reduces overhead time in production. The system also has a modular design that facilitates quick setup and dismantling. 

Because the product is based on the EOS M 290 technology, there’s hope that the new EOS M 100 will benefit from the EOSTATE MeltPool Monitoring product as well. 


Bigger and Faster Metal Printing

The EOS M 400 is the company’s largest format printer. It will get a refresh in 2016. The device will have four 400-W lasers for higher throughput.
The EOS M 400 is the company’s largest format printer. It will get a refresh in 2016. The device will have four 400-W lasers for higher throughput.

The company also showed the coming advances for the EOS M 400 3D printers. The 400 series will soon have a new release with additional lasers. The additional lasers will allow the device to quadruple the printing performance. 

The new device will be called the EOS M 400-4. It maintains the 400 x 400 x 400 mm build envelope and the power of the 400-W lasers. The additional lasers work in parallel to increase the printing performance.

The EOS M 400-4 is one of the largest metal printers on the market. It is based on the same DMLS as the existing EOS M 290 product.

About the Author







Tom Lansford is an international marketing consultant and manages the sites Professional WorkstationCADplace France and CADplace UK. He has been living in Europe since 1992 and previously managed workstation marketing in Europe at NVIDIA. Lansford is a professional videographer and his interests include design visualization, simulation, graphics and GPU computing.

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