RE: limitation of LENS

Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 17:27:50 EEST

Your observations are true, but there are ways to work around these limitations. We have two LENS machines working at our facilities here in the Rapid Manufacturing Center at the University of Rhode Island. There are a couple of ways that we can work with overhangs. The first is that we can build walls with negative angles up to about 45 degrees. Thus, you can create closed volumes or cooling channels that look something like a raindrop-shape. If you want to put a flat "lid" over a large open volume, there are two ways to handle that. The first is to actually place a thing piece of metal (the same alloy you are depositing) cut to shape over the hole and then continue using LENS to deposit additional material on top and to "weld" the piece to the already deposited part. The other method is to fill the volume with powder and sinter the top of the volume, much like SLS does. In order to do this, the powder feed system must be turned off temporarily, otherwise the powder will be blown away by the gas stream.

If anyone has applications they would like to explore with the LENS technology, we do contract work. We also have a research consortium that is open to new members.

Brent Stucker, Director
Rapid Manufacturing Center
University of Rhode Island

Original Message:
From: Artem Yakovlev
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 14:35:45 +0400 (MSD)
Subject: limitation of LENS

It seems that LENS haven't the ability to produce
parts with complex geometry (i.e. with closed volumes)
because of absence of supports of previously deposited
layers like in SL, SLS, LOM. I suppose that this
disadvantage essentially limits the application area
of this technology. I would hear the different opinion
with interest,

Yakovlev Artyom,
Le Creusot, France

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