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Proceedings Paper

Area melting with multi-laser arrays to increase build rate for metal powder bed fusion additive manufacturing
Author(s): Jason Karp; Victor Ostroverkhov; David Bogdan; Michael Graham; Brian McCarthy; William Carter
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Paper Abstract

Printing functional, metal parts for mass production using powder bed fusion additive manufacturing requires the ability to deposit more energy at the working plane to increase build rate. Conventional approaches serially add fiber lasers and scanners to create dual and quad laser machines, but scaling this strategy is limited by the size of powder bed while current scan parameters do not utilize the full output potential of available laser sources. Instead, a processing head containing an array of lower power laser sources can melt wider regions of a powder bed simultaneously to increase build rate. A 16 channel processing head comprised of fiber-coupled direct diodes capable of outputting up to 960W of combined power is presented. Fiber arrays arranged to melt widened tracks of CoCr powder demonstrated builds with >99% density at 2x the build rate of conventional, single laser systems. Details of the array layout, optical system and controls are presented along with scan strategies for melt tracks of varying widths. Most importantly, the array configuration can be scaled to multi-kW outputs spread over larger areas without requiring new parameter development as the energy per unit area remains unchanged with channel count.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2019
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10909, Laser 3D Manufacturing VI, 1090909 (4 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2513892
Show Author Affiliations
Jason Karp, GE Global Research (United States)
Victor Ostroverkhov, GE Global Research (United States)
David Bogdan, GE Global Research (United States)
Michael Graham, GE Global Research (United States)
Brian McCarthy, GE Global Research (United States)
William Carter, GE Global Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10909:
Laser 3D Manufacturing VI
Bo Gu; Henry Helvajian; Hongqiang Chen, Editor(s)

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