On April 26th, the critical technology and equipment of large metal part highly-efficent Selective Laser Melting (so called 3D printing technology) passed the achievement appraisal of science and technology department of Hubei Province . The 3D printing technology, deeply integrating the information technology and manufacturing technology and simultaneously screened by four lasers is the world’s high-precision metal part laser 3D printing equipment with the highest efficiency and largest size, which overcomes multiple technology problems, achieves the high-precision forming of complicated metal parts, improves the forming efficiency and shortening the duration of equipment research & preparation.
With the development of aerospace equipment towards light weight, high reliability, long life expectancy and low cost, some key metal parts are becoming more and more complicated, requiring a shortening manufacturing period, thus confronting China’s manufacuturing technology with a series of common problems such as complicated thin wall precise part structure-performance integration manufacturing technology, the forming technology of turbine and blades of areospace engines, which has seriously restricted the improvement of China’s areospace equipment technology.
Metal part laser 3D printing technology is the most difficult technology attracting the most attention among all the 3D printing technologies. Of which Selective Laser Melting(SLM)’s main feature is high precision with no further machining. It can be used to manufacture various kinds of complicated metal parts, achieve the integration of struture and function, thus having great demands in areospace industry. However, low forming efficiency and small forming size is the bottleneck containing the development of this kind of technology. Currently, there still exists a great gap between China’s SLM technology development and that of international advanced conterparts. So most equipment relies on import.
Funded by National 863 Program and National Natural Science Fundation of China and after ten years of hard work, the advanced laser manufacturing research team led by Professor Zeng Xiaoyan from WNLO of HUST has made important breakthroughs in SLM forming theory, process and equipment, especially in overcoming the bottleneck that SLM forming is difficult to manufacture large-size matal part.
SML technology, boasting a high precision of forming, high performance and requiring no moulds is a typical digitalized process. Currently it plays an irreplacable role in the forming of complicated precise metal parts. Besides it enjoys a promosing application prospect in nearly all high-end manufacturing areas such as precise machinery, energy, electronics, petrochemical engineering and transportation.