— Highlighting of the World’s First Monitoring Feedback and
Shielding Functions —

  • Allows for high-speed and high-precision molding of materials
    such as titanium and Nickel based alloys, including large components
  • New technology to be introduced at the RAPID + TCT 2019 trade
    fair, held in May in Detroit

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool Co., Ltd., a group company of
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI)(TOKYO:7011) based in Ritto,
Shiga Prefecture, is set to begin overseas marketing of its 3D
(three-dimensional) printer using its proprietary Directed Energy
Deposition (DED) process.1 The aim is to enhance recognition
and gain a foothold in the United States, which is driving the rapidly
growing global market for 3D printing. As a first step, MHI Machine Tool
will attend RAPID + TCT 2019, a trade fair for advanced additive
manufacturing technologies, held from May 20-23 in Detroit, in order to
showcase its new technologies essential for the practical application of
metal 3D printing, along with the monitoring feedback and local
shielding functions. These latter two functions are the world’s first
practical applications of new technology.

This metal 3D printer was developed by MHI Machine Tool based on the
results from a technology development project2 conducted by
the Technology Research Association for Future Additive Manufacturing
(TRAFAM), commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology
Development Organization (NEDO). The entry model “LAMDA 200,” specific
for the manufacture of small prototype components, was launched in March
2019. In the proprietary DED process, powder is continually injected
from a nozzle, then melted and solidified by laser irradiation. Compared
to the powder bed fusion (PBF) process, in which material is formed by
rolling out and filling the metal powder in a tank (bed), molding speed
is more than 10 times faster, and with the elimination of the tank for
the metal powder, DED allows for the manufacture of larger objects not
possible with PBF. Further, the continuous supply of material eliminates
the need to switch materials during the molding process, allowing for
the forming of composite material components from numerous different
metal powders. Going forward, this process is expected to be applied for
the development of functionally gradient materials joining together
components made of different materials. Along with this technology, MHI
Machine Tool is on the verge of achieving practical application of
monitoring feedback and local shielding functions, which will enhance
the stability of molding quality and allow for the formation of large
components.

Specifically, the monitoring function is a system that uses a camera and
sensors to monitor the printing status. The feedback function then
utilizes the monitoring results to control the laser output and other
printing conditions in real time, stabilizing the melting and
solidification of the metal. Previously, the optimal printing conditions
for different shape were determined through trial and error. The
monitoring and feedback function optimizes the printing conditions
automatically, eliminating the need for trial and error. The shielding
function removes oxygen from the ambient environment around the nozzle
during DED process, preventing oxidation of the melted metal. The local
shielding function allows for printing of materials such as titanium and
aluminum, which are averse to oxidation, in an air environment without
the use of a chamber. Use of these functions also eliminates the
restrictions on the size of 3D printing objects, making the system
applicable for the manufacture of larger components, which has been an
issue in such industries as aerospace. MHI Machine Tool will present the
development results of its monitoring feedback and local shielding
functions at RAPID + TCT 2019.

Demand for high-performance components made from a variety of materials
is projected to increase worldwide, particularly in such industries as
aerospace, where components are continually being made lighter, and the
automotive industry, which continually demands cutting-edge
technologies. MHI Machine Tool is resolving the issues with practical
application of metal 3D printing, and going forward, through proposals
for formation processes for high-performance materials, will focus on
raising awareness and uncovering demand for metal 3D printing. With the
new approach of metal additive manufacturing, we will broaden the scope
of manufacturing that has reached the limits of conventional cutting and
grinding processing technologies.

Notes

*1:

 

Directed Energy Deposition (DED) is an additive manufacturing
process in which focused thermal energy is used to melt and fuse
material.

*2:

The new 3D printer applies the results of the development
project funded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology
Development Organization (NEDO).

 

About Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), headquartered in Tokyo, is one
of the world’s leading industrial firms with 80,000 group employees and
annual consolidated revenues of around 38 billion U.S. dollars. For more
than 130 years, the company has channeled big thinking into innovative
and integrated solutions that move the world forward. MHI owns a unique
business portfolio covering land, sea, sky and even space. MHI delivers
innovative and integrated solutions across a wide range of industries
from commercial aviation and transportation to power plants and gas
turbines, and from machinery and infrastructure to integrated defense
and space systems.
For more information, please visit MHI’s
website: www.mhi.com/index.html
For
Technology, Trends and Tangents, visit MHI’s new online media SPECTRA:
spectra.mhi.com

Contacts

Corporate Communication Department
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
James
Bennett, +81-(0)3-6275-6200
Email: [email protected]