3D metal printer manufactures metal parts at SME scale

November 07, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
The ORLAS Creator 3D Metal Printer, from OR Laser (Dieburg, Germany), is a direct metal additive manufacturing (AM) platform and ecosystem, developed and designed for small and medium enterprises, will be introduced at the Formnext 2016 exhibition in Frankfurt (15-18 November 2016).

The machine, say its designers, is not a development concept years ahead of roll-out, but a fully working platform that will be 3D printing metal parts on the show floor. With a production strategy in place OR Laser plans to begin shipping the machine in 2017.

 

When OR Laser first began researching direct metal AM more than three years ago, the main focus quickly became to make the technology capabilities more accessible. Considerable market research demonstrated that metal AM had tremendous potential for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in the jewellery, dentistry, and medical sectors as well as for smaller engineering firms and laboratories. However, until now, this size of organisation has been priced out of the metal AM market with no commercially viable options available to them.

 

This is precisely the type of organisation that OR Laser had in mind when developing the ORLAS Creator and the ecosystem around it; the machine is a contained hardware system. The build platform is original in design and functionality, an innovative blade design ensures smooth operation and increased build speeds that produce parts up to 30% faster.

 

In terms of safe operation in smaller facilities, the ORLAS Creator uses a cartridge materials handling system. Filled cartridges can be supplied by OR Laser, but the company recognises the need for an open material system, and operates accordingly. Parts produced on the machine claim resolution comparable with higher spec machines on the market.

The operating ecosystem for the ORLAS Creator includes software and interface developments so that no third party software is required to run the machine, eliminating additional costs. OR Laser describes itself as, “not a machine integrator, but rather a machine producer with more than 80% of the hardware produced in house”.

 

More on formnext here.

 

O.R. Lasertechnologie GmbH; www.or-laser.com