Fast Production of Technical Prototypes Using Direct Laser Sintering of Metals and Foundry Sand

Wilkening, Christian
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Currently most RP-Parts are used for visualisation, assembly checks and some functional testing. The next stage between these functional prototypes and the pre-series is technical prototypes, which are used for final functional testing and optimisation of the production process. These must not only have the same material as the series parts, but must also be manufactured with the same production process. Due to the second ofthese requirements layer manufacturing processes cannot be used to build these prototypes directly, but they can be used to make the negative moulds or tools. Two new RP-processes based on laser sintering now have the capability to produce the moulds and tools via very short and fast process chains. Both have already been in commercial use in Europe for about one year. The first process manufactures tools for injection moulding of plastic parts by Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). The second process, called the Direct Croning Process (DCP), is used to build sand moulds and cores for sand casting of metal parts directly from Croning-Sand without any tools. These technologies have been developed by EOS GmbH, Munich, and are marketed under the names EOSINT M and EOSINT S respectively