EOS has developed new Fine Detail Resolution (FDR) technology system for processing polymers, becoming the first company to develop a CO laser solution for powder-based industrial 3D printing. EOS is demonstrating the technology this week at Formnext.
According to EOS, the new EOS FDR 3D printing technology will make it possible for manufacturers to produce “extremely delicate yet robust” parts with fine details and wall thicknesses as slender as 0.22 mm. The company says this could have a highly positive impact on series production.
“The new technology will combine the best of two worlds: the detailed resolution of stereolithography (SLA) with the durability and quality of selective laser sintering (SLS),” said Dr. Tim Rüttermann, Senior Vice President, Polymer Division, EOS.
This double whammy is made possible by the FDR technology’s 50-watt CO laser, which creates an ultra-fine laser beam with a focus diameter half the size of those found in existing SLS technologies. One important consequence of this added precision is new exposure parameters that can result in parts with superfine surfaces.
At present, the new EOS 3D printing tech has been tested on PA 1101 material, made from renewable raw materials and processed in layer thicknesses of 40 and 60 µm. The material offers high impact resistance and elongation at break.
And EOS says the technology has many suitable applications, including the production of filter units and fluid channels, plugs, electronic components and consumer goods like eyeglasses.
The technology will also be made available in various formats. Rüttermann says that, in future, customers will be able to choose between various EOS FDR configurations, including:
- EOS P 500 version with a CO2 laser for high productivity and material flexibility
- CO laser-based FDR technology for manufacturing extremely delicate components
- EOS LaserProFusion technology concept for maximum productivity
The EOS P 500 platform suits high-quality 3D printed polymer components produced on an industrial scale. Compatible polymers include PA 12, PA 11, PA 6, TPU, and the platform offers opportunities in the mobility and automotive industry as well as in consumer electronics.
EOS LaserProFusion, meanwhile, provides maximum productivity “with a focus on high-quality results.” The technology uses up to a million diode lasers with a maximum accumulated laser power of over 5 kilowatts, shortening product development times, enabling tool-free injection molding and even replacing injection molding altogether in many applications. LaserProFusion was launched last year at Formnext 2018.
EOS is demonstrating its newest FDR 3D printing solutions this week at Formnext 2019.