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Beam melting technology

Beam melting technology belongs to the group of additive manufacturing processes (also known as rapid prototyping). In this process, the physical object is formed by the addition of single volume elements. The 3D CAD data is used as a base for the beam melting technology and all other additive manufacturing processes of the component to be produced. With the help of special software, this data set is sliced into single layers which have a thickness between 20 and 100 μm, depending on the requirements. Afterwards, metallic powder is being applied upon a metallic build platform in the beam melting machine according to the selected layer thickness. Subsequently, the layer geometry is being melted with the help of a laser or electron beam. In the next step, the platform is being lowered according to the layer thickness and new powder is being applied upon the previously melted and solidified layer. Then the next layer is being melted which simultaneously coalesces with the before melted layer. These processes will now be repeated indefinitely until the last layer was melted. Layer by layer, a three dimensional object has been created. The powder locally melts completely and subsequently solidifies into a fully dense structure with 99.5 to 100 % density. Beam melting technology can process standard metal alloys, including different stainless and tool steels, aluminum and titanium alloys, cobalt-chrome as well as high-temperature-resistant nickel-base alloys (Inconel).