Formnext 2021: AMCM - Get the Best out of Copper

November 11, 2021

Highly efficient copper components in 3D printing thanks to 1kW fiber laser

Starnberg, Germany, November 11th, 2021 - At the leading additive manufacturing trade show Formnext in Frankfurt, AMCM (Additive Manufacturing Customized Machines) will show how copper 3D printing can be used to realize reimagined designs (e.g., for inductors) and why a 1 kW infrared fiber laser system is so attractive for copper processing. In addition to the transition to single-part design, this system also enables a significant increase in productivity while maintaining high process stability. AMCM is clearing the way in 3D metal printing for new applications that cannot be realized by standard AM systems. AMCM, an EOS company, offers upgrades for the successful EOS systems or, if necessary, completely re-designed systems based on proven EOS technology and processes.

High-efficiency copper components with finest structures in single-part design

Customers like thyssenkrupp can produce highly efficient copper components thanks to the AMCM M 290-1 1kW with a proven 1 kW infrared fiber laser.

In the first step, thyssenkrupp compared a conventionally manufactured inductor with a pure copper inductor 3D-printed in the same design - the result was performance improvements due to for instance, eliminated solder joints. Furthermore, an assumption was made about a redesign for 3D printing with significantly better results. As a result, an inductor with an innovative new concept was designed, built, and measured. The new inductor design generates an optimized magnetic field, which leads to a more efficient process. The cost saving is an impressive 60% when the inductor is manufactured using the additive process. The inductor has a 2.5 times longer service life and, in addition, the power consumption during the heating process can be reduced by 50% when using the inductor.

For workpieces such as the inductor, AMCM's 1 kW fiber laser system, combined with the right process parameters, achieves 100% IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard) electrical conductivity of the component. What makes it special is the combination of a large build envelope and a fine 85 µm spot, so that the finest structures such as complex cooling channels can be created even on slightly larger copper components - making it perfectly suited to such applications.

The fiber laser technology used also offers the customer the great advantage of being able to flexibly process even more materials on the system. Optionally, the system can also be equipped with two 1 kW lasers.

Into space with the largest 3D printed copper combustion chamber

Propulsion systems for rockets must become ever more efficient. 3D printing is also enabling shorter and shorter development cycles - time is a key factor in the commercial space industry.  

Launcher, the first AMCM customer in the space industry was the impetus to develop a 1kW fiber laser system, with the largest possible build envelope, the AMCM M 4K. This enables the largest yet highly efficient additively manufactured combustion chamber, one meter high, to be 3D printed in one piece from a copper alloy (CuCrZr) with internal cooling channels. The machine concept of the AMCM M 4K allows a completely optimized design of the internal cooling channels, a reduction of components, process simplification and lower overall costs.

The AMCM M 290 system family: fine and strong

In addition to the kW equipment, the AMCM M 290 system family also offers a 400 W variant optimized for the finest applications. Dunlee's requirement was to print anti-scatter grids with the finest wall thicknesses. The anti-scatter grids absorb X-rays deflected by the patient's body tissue, increasing the contrast and accuracy of X-ray images.

"For this fine application, the 400-Watt solution from the AMCM M 290 system family with its small spot size and maximum component size of 135 x 220 mm is the optimal solution. This allows the sophisticated design of the anti-scatter grids to be 3D printed in a novel and optimized way."
Martin Bullemer, Managing Director AMCM

With special software optimized for the refractive tungsten, grids of reproducibly equal quality can be produced without any problems. When more power is needed, as with challenging materials like copper, the 1kW variants of the AMCM M 290 come into play. AMCM also offers power upgrades of the EOS M 290 systems to a 1kW laser directly at the customer's site.

AMCM M 290-1 1kW, AMCM M 290-2 1kW

Configuration with up to 2 x 1 kW lasers.

Enable new materials.

great for copper