New Laser Calibration System and Toolpath Software Improve Metal 3D Printing Technology

Meltio, a Spanish laser metal deposition technology manufacturer, has introduced two new innovations to increase the reliability of metal part manufacturing: the Meltio Horizon software and new Laser Calibration System.

Both technological solutions developed by Meltio's engineering team represent a further step in the company's strategy to eliminate the barriers that have prevented metal additive manufacturing from having a significant presence in many industrial sectors.

Meltio Horizon Software

Meltio Horizon is a proprietary toolpath generator software that ensures a fully tailored customer experience around its plug-and-play metal 3D printer, the Meltio M450, with its own unique features and custom-developed Meltio print and material profiles included.

The new software solution is tailored to use the laser wire metal deposition process with the Meltio M450. Up until now, Meltio users have been reliant on using 3rd party FFF slicers to prepare toolpaths for the Meltio M450.

With the Meltio Horizon software, all of the material-related settings are directly in the slicing software, allowing for full control and just a single profile. This also allows us to create more specialized printing profiles, with the power to directly control the laser and hot wire on a "per slicing feature" basis, rather than being set for the full part.

Laser Calibration System

Meltio has also launched a new Laser Calibration System as an accessory (kit) to aid the reliability and ease of use of Meltio's machines, ensuring a faster and more reliable print process to enhance user experience.

The Laser Calibration System allows Meltio users to calibrate Meltio's multi-laser deposition head accurately and effortlessly on all three of its metal 3D printing solutions. The system consists of a laser alignment camera that has to be placed under the printhead as it allows for a clear view of the focus point of the lasers. The camera is controlled using a portable controller, which also comes included in the kit as well as a software specifically designed to filter the camera image and guide the user to focus each laser on the most optimal point.

The addition of this new kit is a major advance over the current state of general metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) solutions. Manual laser alignment remains possible but will require a very experienced operator to match the consistency of the laser alignment kit.

Meltio's multi-laser metal 3D printing technology is based on the use of six lasers pointing to a mutual point to melt the welding wire that is fed through the center of the deposition head. The lasers generate a high concentration of energy, called meltpool, that melts the metal feedstock. As a result, welds beads are stacked precisely on top of one another.

The alignment of each laser is critical so they hit the exact point where the energy is concentrated, the misalignment of the lasers leads to energy inefficiency and defects on the 3D printed parts. The camera makes the calibration process easy to follow.

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