Mitsubishi Electric's New Dot Forming Technology Achieves High-precision Three-dimensional Metal Shaping

Raises productivity in wide range of applications, including part manufacturing and build-up repair

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TOKYO, October 23, 2018 - Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has developed a unique dot forming technology that realizes high-precision shaping by combining laser, computer numerical control (CNC) and computer aided manufacturing CAM technologies in 3D printers. The technology produces high-quality three-dimensional (3D) parts with few voids at high speed, employing a laser wire directed-energy deposition (DED) method, which is an additive-manufacturing process that uses focused thermal energy to fuse materials as they are deposited. Mitsubishi Electric believes that its new technology will raise productivity in a wide range of applications, such as the "near-net" (near-final) shaping of aircraft and automobile parts and build-up repairs.

A three-dimensional metal shaping machine incorporating the new technology will be exhibited for reference at the 29th Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF2018), which will be held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition complex beginning November 1. Mitsubishi Electric expects to launch a commercial version within the fiscal year ending in March 2021.

Fig. 1 System components and comparative samples

Key Features

High-quality 3D parts formed at high speed
- High-quality 3D parts with few voids can be formed at high speed using the laser wire DED method, which supplies metal wire directly to the laser-irradiated part for build-up shaping.
- A variety of 3D shapes are possible, including hollow or overhanging shapes.
- The technology can be combined with parts produced by other manufacturing methods and is therefore effective in build-up repairs.
- Common, proven and inexpensive laser-welding wire can be used.
Improved shape accuracy through unique dot forming technology
- Unique technique repeats spot forming by synchronously controlling the pulsed laser irradiation, the supply of metal wires and shield gas, and the shaping position. Shape accuracy is 60% more precise compared to conventional consecutive forming technology.
- Oxidation, a problem with the conventional technology, can be reduced by more than 20% compared to the conventional technology because high temperature area are limited to a narrow spot forming area.
- Complex shapes can also be formed by using special CAM processes compatible with dot forming technology.

Note that the releases are accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice.