3D printing has opened up worlds to the average person – given he could afford a personal 3D printer. While it certainly cannot be called a household item yet, a 3D printer is not that hard to come by these days, and you can create practically anything from guns to little figurines of yourself to horse shoes. Heck, even Walmart and Asda are offering 3D printing services!
Of course, what is accessible to the individual is also available to commercial entities – perhaps even more so. In the case of 3D printing, big brand Mitsubishi is entering the arena by selling metal 3D printers in North America. You might not think much about this initially, but the metal 3D printer, dubbed Metal Laser Sintering Hybrid Milling Machine, LUMEX Avance-25, is not meant to be installed in one’s workshop. Instead, this beast is targeted at commercial grade applications.
For the tech gobbledygook:
The only machine in the world which realizes one-machine one-process manufacturing of complex molds and parts using fusing metal laser sintering (3D SLS) technology and high-speed milling technology. The printer melts metal powders and sinters with laser while surfaces are milled in high speed to form metal parts with complex surface shapes.
Matsuura Machinery’s printer can fabricate dies and molds of very complex geometry with dimensions as large as 250 x 250 x 180 mm.
- Laser oscillator: Yb fiber laser
- Laser Power : 400W
- Spindle Speed: 45,000 min
- Travel (X/Y/Z) : 260/260/100 mm
- Feed Rate (X/Y/Z) : 60/60/30 m/min
I think it should come with the label “Do not try this at home!” (Still, wouldn’t it be awesome to have access to one of these babies any time you feel those creative manufacturing juices flowing?)
End of the day, though, how does this impact you and me? Better commercial manufacturing techniques means more efficiency, which hopefully translates to better access to items and cheaper price tags, too.
[Images via 3ders]