Meltio Enhances the Usability of LMD 3D Printing
Meltio, a metal 3D printer OEM, introduced two new products at the Formnext trade show:
the Meltio Horizon software and a Laser Calibration System.
While the former includes pre-programmed print and material profiles to assist users in getting their Meltio systems
The company claims that its latest additions make its machines easier to use while
“eliminating the barriers” that prevent metal 3D printing from being used in industrial applications.
“With the release of our new software
, we facilitate and shorten the learning time for you to democratize metal 3D printing so that your software is accessible and simple to use for many different profiles within a company,” Meltio CEO ngel Llavero said.
“The Laser Calibration System will provide industrial companies with a new tool to ensure the reliability of their metal part creation.”
Meltio Laser Metal Deposition
Meltio, a three-year-old joint venture between Sicnova and Additec, has built a business on wire Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) technology.
The firm’s process, a type of Directed Energy Deposition (DED),
uses multiple fibre-coupled diode lasers to melt metals fed out of a central nozzle.
When these lasers collide with alloys, weld beads are formed, which can then be deposited layer by layer onto a substrate below to produce fully dense metal parts.
The Meltio M450 and Meltio Engine,
a tool head that can be seamlessly added to CNC machines, robotic arms,
and gantry systems, are how the company markets its technology.
Both use a multi-laser deposition head with 1.2kW lasers to turn powder or wire feedstocks such as stainless steel, titanium, copper, and nickel into complex parts.
Along with its 3D printer and LMD 3D printing engine, the company started selling wire-based Meltio Materials earlier this year.
whose previous offering had been open-source. The range was initially marketed as a way for early adopters to achieve higher print success rates while benefiting from a more streamlined user experience.
Meltio’s Horizon slicer is now available.
Meltio’s Horizon software includes a proprietary toolpath generator that can be tailored to the needs of users’ individual applications.
Users of the company’s plug-and-play Meltio M450 3D printer have previously had to rely on third-party Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) slicers to prepare toolpaths for prints
, but they can now access presets that streamline the entire process.
Meltio Horizon offers material-specific laser power,
dual wire, and hot wire settings in addition to traditional slicing parameters such as layer height,
line width, print speed,
and support materials.
Users can use this functionality to create specialized printing profiles that allow direct control over the laser and hot wire on a ‘per slicing feature’ basis rather than being set for the entire part.
The program is also tailored to Meltio’s wire-laser metal 3D printing process,
which could result in future cost savings for users.
Users can configure and cost their gas source directly in Meltio Horizon,
with flow rates defined for each material, while its cost calculator allows each overall project to be priced.
The slicer is currently only compatible with the M450 system,
but Meltio is working on expanding its open software ecosystem partnerships to create 5-Axis G-Codes for CNC and Robot Integration Meltio Engines.
Laser calibration made simple
The company’s new Laser Calibration Tool, which is essentially an add-on for calibrating Meltio printheads, is intended to make the 3D printing process more reliable and manageable.
The system includes a laser alignment camera that can be placed beneath the deposition heads of machines to provide users with a clear view of the focus points of their lasers.
Shipped with a portable controller and software designed to filter resulting images,
this kit is said to guide users’ efforts to focus each laser on the most optimal point.
Compared to tricky manual calibration techniques, Meltio says its new package makes it much easier to ensure that lasers are properly aligned, and avoid issues like energy inefficiency or defects.
The entire alignment process is also quick,
with the company claiming that it is twice as fast as manual alternatives, and once completed, it is said to improve Meltio 3D printing repeatability and traceability.
Unlike its Horizon software,
the calibration tool is also compatible with Meltio’s M450 printer,
CNC and Robot Integration Engines, and thus available to the entire user base of the company.