US Turkey Workshop on Rapid Technologies location:Istanbul, Turkey date:24-25 Sept 2009
Additive layer manufacturing (LM) is commonly
used for manufacturing prototypes (RP), tools (RT) and
functional end products (RM) in a wide range of industries
including medicine, automotive and aerospace industries.
One of the key advantages of RM over conventional
machining is the elimination of molds, dies, and other forms
of tooling, and the consequent eradication of tooling
restrictions. Moreover, almost infinite geometrical
complexity, mass customization, individualization and
material flexibility give RM other superior properties. For
RM to prosper, the limitations of existing additive processes must be overcome, e.g. limitations such as repeatability, reliability, surface finish, material properties and productivity. At the University of Leuven, selective laser melting/sintering (SLM/SLS) of metals, ceramics and polymers is studied aiming to develop the process to a level enabling RM of complex and customized parts in a competitive way. In order to achieve this overall goal, a monitoring and control system of SLM/SLS for metals is installed in an in-house developed machine to process metals. Laser re-melting and selective laser erosion (SLE) are employed during or after SLM/SLS in order to improve surface quality and density as well as to modify the microstructure and mechanical properties. For medical
applications, design and manufacturing of scaffolds and
dental prostheses with required mechanical properties are
conducted including the investigation of the influence of
structural parameters (porosity, cell size and cell shape) on the cell growth. In order to widen the palette of applicable materials, K.U.Leuven does not only focus on metallic materials, but also on direct or indirect SLM of ceramics as well as machine modifications such as pre-heating modules and deposition systems necessary to handle ceramics.