Fonon Corporation Announces Metal Additive Manufacturing Product Line
The Engineer posted on March 31, 2016 |
Example of a metal 3D-printed part. (Image courtesy of Fonon.)

Example of a metal 3D-printed part. (Image courtesy of Fonon.)

Fonon Corporation’s Bulk-To-Shape technology represents the company’s foray into production-level metal additive manufacturing.

The first generation of metal 3D printing transformed the prototyping process by shrinking cycle times and reducing development costs. 

However, collective industry experience indicated that these systems were not suited to full production.

“Medical, aviation, automotive and space industry metal printing experts use a measurement system called Manufacturing Readiness Level to classify additive manufacturing machines,” explained Louis Schlegel, vice president of Fonon Corporation.

“While Manufacturing Readiness Level Ten represents machines ready for production, these experts have classified currently-available systems as within a range of Level Four to Level Six,” Schlegel added.

Fonon’s goal with Bulk-To-Shape is to bring metal 3D printing to Manufacturing Readiness Level Ten as quickly as possible. To that end, the company recently introduced the FUSION 3DF150.


The FUSION 3DF150 Laser Sintering Machine

The FUSION 3DF150. (Image courtesy of Fonon.)
The FUSION 3DF150. (Image courtesy of Fonon.)
The 3DF150 features a hermetic laser sintering chamber purged by high purity nitrogen, argon or other process gases for an optimized sintering atmosphere. This is critical for producing components that have the correct metal density with no oxidation or pores.

The 3DF150 has external feeding and sealed recyclable powder containers with locks that allow their removal or connection while the process is running to keep the process under the inert atmosphere. This allows users to replace the feed container without interrupting the process.

An optional extended Z-axis allows the production of parts up to a maximum height of 350 mm and an optional second sintering head can work independently or set up in a master/slave configuration.

The laser sintering machine is designed to fulfill the requirements of a variety of manufacturing applications, including implantable medical devices and aerospace components with complex geometries. It can also be used to print tooling inserts with conformal cooling channels that cannot be created using other manufacturing processes.

Fusion 3DF150 is able to use a wide range of metal powders, including:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Inconel
  • Tool Steel
  • Cobalt-Chromium
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium

The machine’s build rate varies between 5 – 40 cm3 per hour, depending on the material being used.

Fonon offers comprehensive training programs that can be tailored to users’ requirements and experience levels. The company also periodically organizes group forums for users to share their experiences and gather new information.

For more information, visit the Fonon Corporation website.

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