Farsoon launches large multi-laser metal LPBF system

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The new large-format metal LPBF system. (Image: Farsoon Technologies)

Farsoon has launched the large-frame, multi-laser FS721M metal platform to the global market, offering dual and quad laser options for limited commercial orders.

Addressing the challenges in metal manufacturing focusing around size constraints, process control, cost-efficiency and production scalability, Farsoon developed the FS721M with a build volume of 720 x 420 x 420 mm and can equip it with either two or four 500W lasers. The system is well suited to high-volume series production and aims to open up new potential opportunities in molds & tooling, automotive and large-format industrial manufacturing.

'Although the FS721M is the latest addition to Farsoon’s metal machine portfolio, the FS721M actually grew out of an in-house development project dating back to 2017,' said Don Xu, director of Farsoon Global business group and managing director of Farsoon Americas Corp. 'We’ve spent the past 3 years testing and optimizing multi-laser large-format metal system through continuous operation and development; meanwhile the machine was opened to partners in China for specialized projects in search of suitable industrial applications. Starting 2 years ago we have seen increasing demands from industrial customers who are looking to adopt this system for scaled up metal production. This is when we decided to take the next step to fully commercialize the FS721M system, offering as an accessible yet highly productive tool that is unique to the market.'

Productivity

The FS721M was from the very beginning designed for productivity. It’s large build volume of 720 x 420 x 420mm is one of the largest currently available in the metal laser powder bed fusion landscape. The rectangular build volume is optimized for the production of large parts which favor one axis, this is especially valuable in industries such as automotive and tooling. Also, the rectangular build chamber is well suited for multi-laser configurations with the standard FS721M fitted with dual 500w lasers, each laser covering half of the build plate. In addition, the FS721M can also be configured with a quad 500w laser option, with each laser arranged linearly along the long axis of the build plate. This configuration is suitable for the production of multiple smaller parts with no stitch lines. With the dual laser configuration, the FS721M can achieve a build rate of up to 160cm3/h while the quad laser option can boost productivity up to 90cm3/h. 

Quality + Repeatable parts

Part quality and repeatability are key to the successful adoption of additive manufacturing. To achieve high manufacturing quality and homogenous part properties, Farsoon has designed the FS721M with many features and capabilities which will help guarantee quality and repeatability. One such feature is Farsoon’s adoption of high performance fully digital optics for controlling its lasers. The fully digital 3-axis optics in the FS721M has allowed for the development of advanced algorithmic controls and customized scanning strategies based on Farsoon’s many years of experience working with multi-laser systems. These advanced controls allow the FS721M to achieve uniform performance from one laser to the next in multi-laser overlap zones, resulting in parts which have homogenous properties across the build platform.

The FS721M also features continuous powder feeding, optimized gas flow and long-lasting integrated filter module which all help to create a stable and uninterrupted build process further enhancing the melting process of metal powders.

Finally, the FS721M is powered by Farsoon’s powerful Makestar software package which controls and monitors the machines operation. Makestar’s powerful build process controls allow for real time monitoring of the build environment including laser power, air flow, temperature, humidity and many other variables. In addition, each FS721M is equipped with in-chamber cameras which are used to monitor and record each layer. Besides logging the layer-to-layer data, the cameras also enable Farsoon’s real-time recoat monitoring feature. This feature records and analyzes each recoat layer in real time, if a short feed or build error is detected the software will automatically recoat or pause the build to ensure build quality.

Ease of use

To best facilitate the manufacturing workflow the FS721M is designed with a bevy of features which enhance the user experience and improve workplace safety. The FS721M is equipped with an advanced powder handling system which safely conveys new powder to the machines as well as takes away used powder. This is all done under a fully enclosed, inert environment greatly increasing the safety of the operator. The powder management system can also be configured with an integrated sieve which when equipped creates a fully closed loop powder system for the FS721M.

Another feature which greatly enhances the user experience is the integrated breakout station attached to the FS721M. When the FS721M completes a build, the full build cartridge is transferred through an internal conveyer system to the breakout station. This fully enclosed work station allows for the safe and clean removal of powder from a completed build without the user needing to come in contact with the powder.

Features such as the powder management system and breakout station as well as advanced calibration and electric leveling allow for streamlined workflow when working with the FS721M. In addition, like all Farsoon machines the FS721M is a truly open platform which offers the user a high degree of control to tailor processing parameters for application requirements or cost-competitive metal additive manufacturing.

With many unique capacities of FS721M system featuring productivity, quality, operational ease and best cost-to-performance, Farsoon will be bringing Metal LPBF additive manufacturing one step closer to production.

Eight 1kw laser system in development

At TCT Asia 2021 in NECC Shanghai, China, Farsoon Technologies also announced that it is developing an an 8 x 1,000W laser platform, the FS721M-8. 

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