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Mitsubishi Electric to launch digital wire-laser metal 3D printer

24 Feb 2022

AZ600 3D printer, launching next month in two versions, melts welding wire with a laser to create high-quality structures.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (“MEC”) has announced that as of March 1st it will release two models of its new AZ600 wire-laser metal 3D printer, which melts welding wire with a laser beam to create high-quality 3D structures.

Digital additive-manufacturing technology combined with simultaneous 5-axis spatial control and coordinated control of machining conditions, which MEC claims as a “world first”, delivers stable, high-quality 3D printing.

Furthermore, adds the developer, “it contributes to manufacturing in a decarbonized era by reducing energy consumption, saves resources by shortening of processing time and using highly efficient production methods such as near-net-shape, and supports the build-up of repairs for the maintenance of specialist parts for automobiles, ships and aircraft.”

Additionally, says the company, a new contract printing service utilizing these printers will help the adoption of additive manufacturing by offering product design consultation, prototyping and general advice about the application of 3D metal printing.

In recent years, the growing need to reduce CO2 emissions in the metalworking manufacturing industry has stimulated an increase in demand for more efficient metalworking methods that reduce energy consumption and conserve finite natural resources.

MEC believes that demand is expected to grow for metal 3D printers: “This [technique] has the advantages of significantly shortening the conventional manufacturing process, reducing waste materials in the manufacturing process, and improving design flexibility by making it easier to integrate multiple parts and reduce weight.”

However the company adds, in its AZ600 launch announcement, that it has recognized that there is a need for improvement to the metal 3D printing process:

“On the other hand, metal 3D printers that use powder-based feedstock have issues with material management, workability and safety, and a new additive manufacturing process has been required. MEC is is launching the AZ600 to solve the problems with powder-based printers.

“This product realizes high-quality, high-precision 3D printing and contributes to manufacturing that considers its environmental impact by reducing energy consumption and waste.”

The AZ600 will be exhibited at the Additive Manufacturing Expo from March 16-18 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan.

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