Continental to 3D print metal parts

Now with Continental AG, one of the world's leading automotive suppliers has made a commitment to additive manufacturing of metal parts. The company chose Concept Laser, a pioneer and one of the world's leading suppliers of machines and system solutions for 3D metal printing. The new M2 cusing is one of the most powerful laser melting machines in the medium-sized machine segment. In addition to the available multilaser option, this machine has a variety of innovative features and a unique approach to safety.

M2 cusing Multilaser: Strong Performance Profile

With an overall size of 250 x 250 x 280 mm³ (x, y, z), the M2 cusing family is Concept Laser’s top-selling model series. This installation size offers high flexibility for the production of a wide range of 3D parts made of metal in the medium-sized machine segment. The M2 cusing is available as a single laser variant with 200W or 400W and as a multi-laser version with 2 x 200W or optional 2 x 400W. A special feature of this machine type is its fully integrated, compact design. That means there are no "satellite solutions" for laser source and filter technology. Users such as Continental AG benefit from this solution's excellent accessibility to all system components and low footprint. Like all machine solutions from Concept Laser, the M2 cusing Multilaser also features physical separation of the process chamber and the handling area to ensure user-friendliness and safe operation. One special feature is the new filter concept. The filter surface was enlarged from previously 4 m² to now 20 m² and thus by a factor of 5. The filter module was designed with fixed piping and fully integrated into the system. Increasing the filter surface has a positive effect on the change intervals. The plant availability also increases significantly and a real three-shift operation is possible. The new filter approach is also in line with a qualitative aspect of laser melting: The significantly faster build rate resulting from using multiple laser sources is prone to increased smoking. Being able to change the filter in a safe, fast, and easy manner is therefore an essential must-have if you want to fully exploit the system's capacity. Moreover, the new filter technology was further developed with regards to safety-related aspects, as presented in the ATEX Directive. Therefore, the M2 cusing family is equipped with a filter than can be flooded. This ensures safe handling when changing the filter. This is a real plus when it comes to safety in particular when processing reactive materials.

Analysis and opinion

By Dave MacLellan, Executive Director, AILU


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