The Aconity Mini is a flexible, open, selective laser melting (SLM) metal 3D printer. It is designed for easy swap-out of powder to efficiently enable research across a range of materials.
Current planned materials processing characterisations include Inconel, Nitinol, stainless steel 316L, cobalt chrome and Al 6061. In addition to the existing sensors, the machine is also fitted with novel, bespoke acoustic and radio emission spectroscopy sensors.
Optimised processing recipes for a range of alloys are being developed on this Demonstrator by correlating process inputs (such as powder quality and machine settings) with process outputs (such as dimensional accuracy and porosity). In addition, the large volume of process sensor data is being used to determine if improved process monitoring and control can be achieved. Machine Learning algorithms are being implemented to look for trends in the process data that correlate with part performance. Through the use of novel data analytics techniques, opportunities to improve in-process real-time monitoring and control are being explored.
Fast Facts for Aconity Mini
Development of products and processes for a wide range of sectors using metal SLM technology.
- To fully understand and characterise process and product parameters so that feasibility and cost/benefit for additive manufacturing of a product can be proven.
- To develop knowledge regarding the value of in-situ monitoring for process control of metal SLM, leading to reduced end-to-end cost structure.
- Develop a flexible, open, selective laser melting (SLM) metal 3D printer, designed for easy swap-out of powder to efficiently enable research across a range of materials.
- Fit the machine with novel sensors to explore the potential of in-situ process monitoring.
- Support feasibility projects for manufacture of new or existing products via metal AM.
- Generate process/materials knowledge libraries to accelerate new product and process development times.
Laser: 200 W Fiber Laser, Ø 36 µm, 1070 nm
Build Volume: Ø 140 mm, H up to 200mm
- Two 1000 Hz pyrometric measurements to measure local temperature and temperature gradient
Preheating up to 800 °C to relieve thermal stress and control cooling rate
- Designed for materials and process development, open programmatic control of processing O2 value monitoring <20 ppm;
- Ar inert gas Build can be stopped and restarted, multi-material printing; incorporate components
Separate sleeves for separate powders to avoid contamination.