German additive manufacturing expert SLM Solutions has partnered with American conglomerate Honeywell to qualify new 3D printing parameters with the aim of printing at increased thicknesses to save more time and money. Honeywell has been a proponent for additive manufacturing for some time and has adopted various forms of the technology for a range of applications. This in depth knowledge of AM and its industrial applications will be vital to the partnership with SLM Solutions, which specializes in selective laser melting.
Through the partnership, Honeywell’s Aerospace business will embark on a project to qualify aluminum builds printed on the SLM 500 using higher layer thicknesses of 60 and 90 microns. SLM Solutions will provide Honeywell Aerospace with standard aluminum printing parameter sets, which will enable the company to conduct material qualification using the quad-laser system to obtain optimal material properties.
“SLM Solutions’ latest technology will help Honeywell improve productivity while also meeting our material requirements for qualification,” said Dr. Sören Wiener, senior director of technology and advanced operations for Honeywell’s Aerospace business. “We intend to qualify these parameter sets through repeatability testing in our production environment, including build and post-processing to generate an efficient process with a set of material property data.”
Printing parameters are a crucial part of achieving a successful and repeatable build—a fact which has not gone unnoticed at SLM Solutions. At Formnext last month, the company highlighted how printing parameters can influence not only the quality and result of the build but also printing time and costs.
“As the productivity leaders in powder bed fusion, SLM Solutions has been continuously working to reduce build times by combining high-powered lasers with advanced parameter sets,” said Meddah Hadjar, CEO of SLM Solutions Group AG. “Our open architecture machines allow for customization, and we’ve shown over 60% reduction in build time with 170% real build rate increases compared to standard 30 micron parameters on our twin-laser machines.
“We’re excited to work together with Honeywell Aerospace to further advance the industry through the qualification of even more advanced parameter sets for quad-laser systems used in qualified serial production.”