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New SLS Co2 laser 3D Printer

Posted by mecanicu 
New SLS Co2 laser 3D Printer
May 28, 2013 09:33AM
I have two galvo marking system with Co2 150W power laser, working area is 140x140mm the system's ar in working condition and I'm interested in converting one to a metal sls 3d printer.
I did a lot of reading regarding this. I know it will be hard to make it.
The working chamber need's to be under vacuum and sustained in gas (argon, gorgon, etc.), i will need to make it from aluminum so it can sustain preheating the powder.
Software side is a problem, i manage to find a suitable open source software that can do the slicing of a 3d model and control the laser,galvo and extra axis (for z axis, powder chambers and powder dispenser) but my controller is not implemented and it costs me 2000$ to implement it. Maybe a developer that is interested can help me with this
The Biggest problem now is the raw metal powder material, maybe someone can tell me from were to buy some.
Re: New SLS Co2 laser 3D Printer
May 28, 2013 09:56AM
... with Argon you don't need vacuum ... and when starting with plastic powders instead of metal, you can even try without any shielding gas winking smiley

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Re: New SLS Co2 laser 3D Printer
May 28, 2013 03:53PM
the vacuum is used in the first stage to empty the chamber and refill it with argon. My concern is how the motor's, bearing's and wiring will behave under vacuum and argon gas. Or is better to design the chamber witout the motor inside (volume that I need to fill will be lower, so I'l use less argon gas)
I don't have a clue, from were to get plastic or metal powder for testing

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2013 05:26PM by mecanicu.
You can get some metal powders from art supply places like douglas and sturgess here. Skylighter fireworks supply has titanium powder here.
As long as you create a positive pressure environment you wont require a vacuum as the argon will flush out the system of all oxygen. Have you also considerd using N2 as it may save you some money however this will depend upon the metal powder you plan to use.
New SLS Co2 laser 3D Printer
June 18, 2013 11:22AM
Hi ..

Researched so far, you just need a laser beam up to 1000 Watts of power (without lens)
and a means of distributing the powder, either polymer or metal, which is larger as the temperature of these
material, the lower the power requirements of the laser. Among polymers and metal powders major differences exist and need a very efficient device for controlling the laser, from 20/50 Watts for fusion polymers of up to 250/1000 Watts for fusion of the metal powders.
I think the best way is to simplify and seems easy. I just need to know where can I buy Laser diodes Nd: Yag with competitive prices to create
my first RepRap printer SLS. who wants to give further information, thank you. Congratulations.

Saulo Quevedo


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2013 11:40AM by Saulo Quevedo.
open | download - Big_Brother 3D_CNC.jpg (50.2 KB)
open | download - Big_Brother 3D_CNC_detalhe_1.jpg (56.6 KB)
Re: New SLS Co2 laser 3D Printer
January 17, 2014 10:10AM
Yag lasers are still too expensive. Fiber and diode lasers are still cost prohibitive. A traditional CO2 laser tube might not be as efficient, but they sure as heck are a ton cheaper.

A 30W CO2 laser is enough for any polymer powder. The 10nm wavelength makes any polymer opaque without the need for colorants to absorb the laser eavelength, unlike Yag and some fiber lasers.

Sintering metal? You'll need a min of 400W from a CO2 laser. Maybe slightly less if using a fiber laser. One step at a time....one step at a time.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/17/2014 10:12AM by MrBaz.
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