Metal additive manufacturing has advanced in just a few decades from research and development only to playing an important role in major end-use production environments. The manner of producing metal parts for the entire range of the energy sector with selective laser melting generates new opportunities to produce previously impossible geometries including internal cooling channels or undercuts, for example. The paradigm shift in the industry continues as the idea that complexity comes for free expands as more energy companies incorporate additive manufacturing designs into their production.
The power generation industry, like others, has benefited from designs that reduce component weight since metal AM only requires material, including high-strength nickel alloys, to be printed where necessary, but not based on what can be or is economical to remove through subtractive methods. The use of conformal cooling channels built within components, for example, also allows for improved performance and allows engineers to design a part for maximum performance, rather than around machining capabilities. The growing sector of renewable energy finds more and more possible applications to use the advantages of AM technology, for example on wind turbine blades or generators.
One challenge to the energy industry is the size of the components. To meet this, SLM Solutions continues to grow the capacity of machine build envelopes while also increasing the productivity of selective laser melting sytems through patented multi-laser technology. Overlapping laser technology is essential to reduce build times to minimize production costs.
Professional applications support from the experts at SLM Solutions aids in developing customer-specific processes from prototype to production.