AMS Spring 2023

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Acquires Concept Laser M2 Cusing Machine, Strengthens Focus on Metal Additive Manufacturing

6K SmarTech

Share this Article

unrl-logoHeadquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been in the business of advancing cutting-edge research and technology for over 90 years, focusing on research that produces both immediate and long-term applications in US defense. Some of the nation’s top engineers and scientists work at NRL, in order to boost the country’s position as a global naval leader. The research that goes on at the Navy’s specialized laboratory spans from storm prediction and hazardous chemical detection to nanotechnology, virtual reality, and even 3D printable tools, like adjustable groove-joint pliers created by a Navy scientist working in the NRL’s Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory. The NRL states that its team is “driven to discover” in order to produce results that benefit both the military and civilians. The NRL, and the entire Navy itself, had already jumped on the metal 3D printing bandwagon, as the technology has a lot to offer for military applications, but a recent announcement shows us that the researchers at the lab are not content to rest on their proverbial laurels.

concept_laser_logoThe lab has acquired its first laser powder-bed metals machine, for use in enhancing its materials research and rapid prototyping. NRL chose the M2 cusing machine, by manufacturer of power-bed laser metal additive manufacturing systems Concept Laser. GE acquired a 75% stake in Concept Laser a few months ago, and will in the next few years take full ownership of the company, which introduced its innovative LaserCUSING technique to the world in 2001. LaserCUSING is available through the company’s Mlab 3D printer series, which includes the M2. The NRL plans to use its new M2 to strengthen its focus on metal additive manufacturing.

SWMconcept-laser-new-metal-laser-melting-system-m2-cusing-3

Dr. Charles Rohde, NRL Acoustics Division, said, “We require a wide range of Additive Manufacturing (AM) capabilities, ranging from quality monitoring to process parameter development, and need an architecture conducive to that research and development effort.”

concept-laser-stainless-steelThe NRL, which employs approximately 2,500 personnel, will use the M2 to print components in stainless steel. It’s very important to monitor the data, such as temperature, power quality, and laser output, of a laser melting system. So the lab, in addition to acquiring an M2 cusing machine, will also be monitoring the quality of its metal applications through Concept Laser’s QMmeltpool 3D, which offers in situ quality assurance to inspect parts as they grow. The tool’s process is based on an on-axis system, and offers position-related 3D visualization and real-time monitoring. The system will help the NRL detect any defects in design, and see if “an application is on the edge of acceptability.”

In-situ monitoring of the melt pool with QMmeltpool 3D: A photo diode and a camera provide coaxial monitoring of the area and intensity of the melt pool through the laser optic with exact positioning [Image: Concept Laser]

In-situ monitoring of the melt pool with QMmeltpool 3D: A photo diode and a camera provide coaxial monitoring of the area and intensity of the melt pool through the laser optic with exact positioning [Image: Concept Laser]

To help its engineers develop custom parameters, and achieve freedom of design, the NRL will also utilize CL WRX Parameter 2.0. Users can assign different parameters to each specific area of a part, and can assign exposure strategies to the different elements, resulting in parts with numerous parameters assigned to each. This makes it more likely for the part to be 3D printed correctly the first time around, as technical risks can be reduced and build quality can be enhanced. To learn more about CL WRX Parameter 2.0, take a look at Concept Laser’s video:

https://youtu.be/OG1ff4_U1GM

Concept Laser is thrilled with the NRL’s decision to adopt laser powder-bed metals AM into its additive manufacturing strategy.

“It is very exciting that the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is bolstering their focus on metal additive manufacturing,” said John Murray, President and CEO of Concept Laser Inc. “There are so many advantages of 3D metal printing that our defense strategy could benefit from, including reduced lead time, less material waste, and printing complex geometries with no required assembly. NRL has a history of over 90 years of innovation in naval power and we look forward to hear how they will use 3D metal printing to break boundaries.”

Discuss in the Naval Research Laboratory forum at 3DPB.com.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Unpeeled: NASA, ICON, MIT and Purdue

3D Printing Financials: Desktop Metal Analysis



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

Desktop Metal: AM 2.0 Highlights from the Formnext Show Floor

Formnext, the leading international platform for Additive Manufacturing and industrial 3D Printing, returned in full swing to the halls of the Frankfurt convention center in Germany this November. With challenging...

Featured

Desktop Metal Receives $9M 3D Printer Order from German Car Maker

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM) announced that the company has received a $9 million order from a “large German car manufacturer.” Although it is not clear which...

3D Printing Financials: Markforged’s Supply Chain Issues Wind Down FX20 Production

Supply chain disruptions continue to torment the manufacturing industry. In additive manufacturing, the challenging operating environment is harming production continuity. For Markforged (NYSE: MKFG), in particular, these production hurdles slowed...

Featured

The 19 Most Famous Angel Investors in 3D Printing

You may have the greatest idea in the world and just need that small investment of faith to launch it into a fully-fledged business. If a single individual, perhaps with...