Free Form Fabrication of Metallic Components Using the Directed Light Fabrication Process

D.B. ThomaJ.O. Milewski

Abstract

The Directed Light Fabrication (DLF) process uses a laser beam and metal powder, fed into the laser focal zone, to produce free-standing metal components that are fully dense and have structural properties equivalent to conventional metal forming processes. The motion of the laser focal zone is precisely controlled by a motion path produced from a 3-dimensional solid model of a desired component. The motion path commands move the focal zone of the laser such that all solid areas of the part are deposited and the part can be built (deposited) in its entirety to near net shape, typically within +/-0.13mm. The process is applicable to any metal or intermetallic. Full density and mechanical properties equivalent to conventionally processed material are achieved.

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