Laser Metal Deposition Shaping System for Direct Fabrication of Parts
The fabrication of metal parts is the backbone of the modern manufacturing industry. Laser forming is the combination of five common technologies: lasers, rapid prototyping (RP), computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and powder metallurgy. The resulting process creates part by focusing an industrial laser beam on the surface of processing workpiece to create a molten pool of metal. A small stream of powdered alloy is then injected into the molten pool to build up the part gradually. By moving the laser beam back and forth and tracing out a pattern determined by a CAD, the solid metal part is fabricated line by line, one layer at a time. By this method, a material having a very fine microstructure due to rapid solidification process can be produced. In the present work, a type of direct laser deposition process, called Laser Metal Deposition Shaping (LMDS), has been employed and developed to fabricate metal parts. The LMDS apparatus consists of four primary components: energy supply system, motion control system, powder delivery system, and computer control system. These components have their specified functions, but work in association with each other.
K. Zhang et al., "Laser Metal Deposition Shaping System for Direct Fabrication of Parts", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 66-68, pp. 2202-2207, 2011