3D Metal Printing Beam Enters Germany with Laser Deposition Welding
Beam presented its Modulo 250 at Formnext. The company wants to enter the German and Austrian markets with their DED process (Laser Deposition Welding).
Beam doubled its production last year. Founded in 2012, the French company manufactures 5-axis machines for laser deposition welding (Directed Energy Deposition, DED, also LMD). Since the delivery of its first industrial machine at the beginning of 2016, Beam now has more than twenty customers worldwide. The number of employees increased to 45. At the beginning of 2017 they opened a Solution Center in Ohio to penetrate the American market, and at the beginning of 2018 a subsidiary in Singapore was opened. Now the focus is on Germany and Austria. Since the middle of the year, Beam has been part of the French Addup company, which specializes in powder bed-based additive processes.
In contrast to the powder bed processes, laser deposition welding allows different metals to be joined together and gradient materials can also be used, explains Frédéric Le Moullec, Business Development Director of Beam. Among the materials most processed with DED are cobalt and nickel alloys, steel and titanium alloys. Beam sees particular advantages in the DED process for titanium. The company therefore has its markets wherever titanium is used. The French company focuses mainly on the aerospace industry and on engine manufacturers. This is because, in addition to a complete, close-contour structure, their process can also be used to repair or coat expensive engine components.
According to Beam, it is distinguished from competitors by a controlled atmosphere. "We fill the entire machine with argon," explains Le Moullec, "to ensure that there is no more oxygen in the machine. This allows titanium processing with the best quality and highest safety." The company also counts its self-developed nozzles among its unique selling points. "Since we incorporate our own know-how, we can better handle the construction rate and efficiency and achieve more effective process monitoring," Le Moullec continues. At the Formnext 2018 in Frankfurt the company showcased their small machine, the Modulo 250. The 5-axis machine has a construction volume of 400 mm × 250 mm × 300 mm. Apart from the installation space, it also differs from the two larger machines Modulo 400 and Magic 800 in the smaller selection of nozzles —the French company offers widths from 1 to 2 mm.
This article was first published by MM MaschinenMarkt