SFF Using Diode Lasers
Rapid prototypings using direct selective laser sintering (SLS) ofmetal/ceramic powders have a great potential for design and fabrication of near net shape ofmetal/ceramic parts. At presents CO2, Nd:YAG and Excimer are the only possible solutions for the heavy duty manufacturing applications. At the University ofConnecticut, researchers advanced the concept ofrapid prototyping and other desk top manufacturing tasks such as welding, sintering, drilling, marking, soldering of electronic components, face hardening ofmetal and other materials applications by the use ofhigh power diode lasers. Utilizing SLS techniques and approaches designed to harness the full potential of diode lasers, computer controlled sintering system was developed. The system is capable of producing complex three dimensional shapes ofmetal/ceramic parts from CAD/CAM solid model data files. In the paper direct sintered Fe-Bronze parts using high power laser diodes has been demonstrated. The system comprises ofhigh power laser diodes (25 W cw, A=980 nm and 60 W pulse or cw, A=81 0 nm), beam scanning systems, atmospheric controlled chamber, and CAD/CAM software.