Optomec Inc.

Albuquerque, NM, United States

Optomec Inc.

Albuquerque, NM, United States
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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.materialstoday.com

Optomec, which makes additive manufacturing (AM) systems for 3D printed metals and 3D printed electronics, says that the results of a three-year study have validated the repeatability and transferability of its LENS metal additive manufacturing process. The study was performed on different LENS metal additive manufacturing systems at different locations using the same processing parameters and the printing results from each LENS system were consistent and repeatable, exhibiting tensile and fatigue properties equal to or better than wrought Titanium Ti-6-4 material, Optomec says. The ability to achieve repeatable machine to machine high quality printing results addresses current challenges faced by the U.S. Air Force, and provides a framework for the future adoption of metal additive manufacturing for repair and remanufacturing throughout the aircraft industry. The study, sponsored by AM institute America Makes, included participation by industry leaders GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies Research Center and Rolls-Royce, as well as a group of technical experts serving as lead contributors, including Edison Welding Institute (EWI), Connecticut Center of Advanced Technology (CCAT), University of Connecticut, TechSolve, The Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Lab (ARL) and Concurrent Technologies Corporation. The scope of the study evaluated over 200 process elements and corresponding results spanning the metal additive manufacturing process, from powder optimization, process development, process monitoring and controls, part measurement, non-destructive testing and post processing. According to Optomec, it demonstrated the benefits of LENS powder-fed directed energy deposition technology over traditional welding techniques for the repair and remanufacturing of aerospace components. ‘This effort has set a foundation the industry can build on to implement LENS processing for sustainment, as well as new production,’ said Henry Phelps, senior staff engineer at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. ‘It established a set of feedstock requirements and build parameters for aerospace component repairs, as well as identifying areas for future capability enhancement.’ ‘This study is significant in that it reinforces the LENS additive manufacturing process as a viable alternative to conventional repair and remanufacturing methods,’ added Tom McDonald, Optomec program manager for the project. ‘This development sets the stage to significantly reduce the cost and cycle time of returning critical aerospace assets into service to support military and commercial applications.’ This story is reprinted from material from Optomec, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Optomec, a leading global supplier of production grade additive manufacturing (AM) systems for 3D Printed Metals and 3D Printed Electronics, today announced a strategic alliance with Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC), one of the largest suppliers of industrial, specialty, and electronic gases in the world. This strategic alliance will enable TNSC, and its subsidiary Matheson, to resell Optomec LENS 3D printers as part of a total AM solution offering including gases, powder feed stock, and metal heat treatment techniques, and Optomec to expand LENS product sales by utilizing TNSC group sales network in Japan, US and Asia. As part of the alliance, TNSC has also made a capital investment in Optomec. In addition to industrial gases, TNSC is also a leading supplier of metal welding solutions, which can be considered the basic building block of most of today’s metal printing technologies. TNSC will leverage its unique expertise in welding processes, metal heat treatment and controlled gas atmospheres to help lower costs, streamline production and eliminate defects for additive manufacturing customers globally. TNSC organizes dedicated technical teams for Additive Manufacturing Technology at its gas application R&D lab in Yamanashi, Japan, and will feature an Optomec LENS printer to be used for applied technical support, demonstration services, and creation of innovative and efficient Additive Manufacturing solutions. This will be the first integrated Metal Additive Manufacturing Technology Lab in Asia and will be supported by technology alliances with various industry partners. The Optomec LENS family of 3D metal printers have been used in industry for almost two decades to cost-effectively produce, repair and rework high-performance metal components in materials such as titanium, stainless steel, and nickel based superalloys. LENS printers use the energy from a high-power laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powdered metals. The resulting fully functional material offers excellent mechanical properties often equal to or better than wrought. LENS 3D Metal printers are used throughout the entire product lifecycle for applications ranging from Materials Research to Repair and Rework to Low Volume Manufacturing. For more information on LENS, click here. Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC), founded in 1910 and based in Tokyo, Japan, is a global supplier of industrial gases. TNSC is a "single source" for industrial, welding and safety supplies, medical, specialty and electronic gases, gas handling equipment, high performance purification systems, engineering and gas management services, as well as on-site gas generation. Its mission is to deliver innovative solutions that meet global customer requirements. TNSC is one of the five largest suppliers of industrial, specialty and electronics gases in the world. MATHESON is a single source for industrial, welding and safety supplies, medical, specialty and electronic gases, gas handling equipment, high performance purification systems, engineering and gas management services, and on-site gas generation with a mission to deliver innovative solutions for global customer requirements. MATHESON is the largest subsidiary of the TAIYO NIPPON SANSO CORPORATION Group, one of the five largest suppliers of industrial, specialty, and electronics gases in the world. Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Systems for printed electronics and LENS 3D Printers for metal components are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Together, these unique printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 300 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the Electronics, Energy, Life Sciences and Aerospace industries. LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) is a registered trademark of Sandia National Laboratories. Aerosol Jet and Optomec are registered trademarks of Optomec Inc.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Optomec, a leading global supplier of production grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed electronics (Aerosol Jet) and 3D printed metals (LENS) announced today that the company will showcase industry first additive manufacturing solutions at the RAPID + TCT conference held May 8 – 11, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Highlighting its exhibition, Optomec will unveil an industry first hybrid controlled atmosphere system based on Optomec industry proven LENS metal additive manufacturing technology. This new LENS system enables additive and subtractive processing of aluminum, titanium and other reactive metals all in one affordable machine tool platform. In addition, Optomec will showcase a groundbreaking 3D Printed Sensor application that was developed working with its customer General Electric (GE). The production solution utilizes Optomec’s Aerosol Jet system to print passive strain sensors directly onto turbine blades used in an industrial gas turbine. The sensors are composed of a ceramic material that can withstand the very high operating temperatures seen in the hot section of the gas turbine. These sensors can detect deformations in the underlying metal that could ultimately result in an expensive and sometimes catastrophic failure. GE recently unveiled this proprietary 3D Printed Sensor technology at their Future of Work Showcase in Boston. The data from the sensors has a direct tie to GE's Predix software platform, demonstrating the digital convergence between Additive Manufacturing and the Internet of Things. A video showing this Aerosol Jet printing process integrated into a robotic work-cell at GE will be available in the Optomec booth. Also, Dr. Himanshu Sahasrabudhe, Optomec LENS Senior Applications engineer, will give a presentation titled “Powdered Metals - What to Expect When You Build Metal Additively” at 3:45 pm on Tuesday, May 9th. In his presentation, Dr. Sahasrabudhe will discuss different processes used to build parts additively from powdered metals, the types of materials available and properties to expect, and application areas where metal additive manufacturing is used in production today. RAPID + TCT is an additive manufacturing event that showcases product innovations and offers collaborative learning opportunities to ultimately accelerate the adoption and advancement of the technology. The two industry leaders in 3D technology events, SME and Rapid News Publications Ltd., are combining their nearly 30 years of insights and experience to produce the annual RAPID + TCT event starting in 2017. For more information about the event, click here. Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Systems for printed electronics and LENS 3D Printers for metal components are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Together, these unique printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 300 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the Electronics, Energy, Life Sciences and Aerospace industries. LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) is a registered trademark of Sandia National Laboratories. Aerosol Jet and Optomec are registered trademarks of Optomec Inc.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Optomec, a leading global supplier of production grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed electronics (Aerosol Jet) and 3D printed metals (LENS) announced today that the company will showcase a groundbreaking production application developed working with its customer General Electric (GE). The application, which establishes the convergence of additive manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things, will be the highlight of the Optomec exhibit at the IDTechEx conference held May 10-11 in Berlin, Germany. Optomec will be in stand # E-11. This production application utilizes Optomec’s Aerosol Jet technology to print passive strain sensors directly onto turbine blades used in an industrial gas turbine. The sensors are composed of a ceramic material that can withstand the very high operating temperatures seen in the hot section of the gas turbine. These sensors can detect deformations in the underlying metal that could ultimately result in an expensive and sometimes catastrophic failure. GE recently unveiled this proprietary 3D Printed Sensor technology at their Future of Work Showcase in Boston. The data from the sensors has a direct tie to GE's Predix software platform, demonstrating the digital convergence between Additive Manufacturing and the Internet of Things. A video showing this Aerosol Jet printing process integrated into a robotic work-cell at GE will be available in the Optomec booth. Also, examples of printed electronic devices will be on display in the Optomec booth along with a live demonstration of an Aerosol Jet 200 system for printed electronics used for a wide array printed electronics applications from R&D to high volume manufacturing. Optomec will also display fully printed and repaired 3D metal components produced by the company’s LENS customers that illustrate a range of 3D metal additive manufacturing capabilities. In addition to the exhibition, Matthew Schrandt, Optomec Aerosol Jet Applications Engineer, will give a presentation titled “3D Printing of Flexible Circuits and Sensors”. Mr. Schrandt will explain how sensors can be printed onto 3D and flexible substrates using a variety of metal and resistive materials. Aerosol Jet is an ideal printing tool for precision deposition of polymeric and metal inks for these sensors. The process is a non-contact, high resolution printing technology that is compatible with a wide range of conductive, insulating, and resistive materials. He will present the functionality of printed strain gauges and thermocouple sensors in terms of robustness with flexing, thermal coefficients, resistance stability, gauge performance, and thermocouple Seebeck coefficient. Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Systems for printed electronics and LENS 3D Printers for metal components are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Together, these unique printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 300 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the Electronics, Energy, Life Sciences and Aerospace industries. LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) is a registered trademark of Sandia National Laboratories. Aerosol Jet is a registered trademark of Optomec Inc.


A method for fabricating three-dimensional structures. In-flight heating or UV illumination modifies the properties of aerosol droplets as they are jetted onto a target surface. The UV light at least partially cures photopolymer droplets, or alternatively causes droplets of solvent-based nanoparticle dispersions to rapidly dry in-flight, and the resulting increased viscosity of the aerosol droplets facilitates the formation of free standing three-dimensional structures. This 3D fabrication can be performed using a wide variety of photopolymer, nanoparticle dispersion, and composite materials. The resulting 3D shapes can be free standing, fabricated without supports, and can attain arbitrary shapes by manipulating the print nozzle relative to the target substrate.


Patent
Optomec Inc. | Date: 2014-08-01

Method and apparatus for direct writing of passive structures having a tolerance of 5% or less in one or more physical, electrical, chemical, or optical properties. The present apparatus is capable of extended deposition times. The apparatus may be configured for unassisted operation and uses sensors and feedback loops to detect physical characteristics of the system to identify and maintain optimum process parameters.


A method and apparatus for the additive fabrication of single and multi-layer electronic circuits by using directed local deposition of conductive, insulating, and/or dielectric materials to build circuit layers incorporating conductive, insulating and/or dielectric features, including inter-layer vias and embedded electronic components. Different conductive, insulating, and/or dielectric materials can be deposited at different points in the circuit such that any section of the circuit may be tailored for specific electrical, thermal, or mechanical properties. This enables more geometric and spatial flexibility in electronic circuit implementation, which optimizes the use of space such that more compact circuits can be manufactured.


Apparatuses and processes for maskless deposition of electronic and biological materials. The process is capable of direct deposition of features with linewidths varying from the micron range up to a fraction of a millimeter, and may be used to deposit features on substrates with damage thresholds near 100 C. Deposition and subsequent processing may be carried out under ambient conditions, eliminating the need for a vacuum atmosphere. The process may also be performed in an inert gas environment. Deposition of and subsequent laser post processing produces linewidths as low as 1 micron, with sub-micron edge definition. The apparatus nozzle has a large working distancethe orifice to substrate distance may be several millimetersand direct write onto non-planar surfaces is possible.


Patent
Optomec Inc. | Date: 2012-05-21

Method and apparatus for depositing multiple lines on an object, specifically contact and busbar metallization lines on a solar cell. The contact lines are preferably less than 100 microns wide, and all contact lines are preferably deposited in a single pass of the deposition head. There can be multiple rows of nozzles on the deposition head. Multiple materials can be deposited, on top of one another, forming layered structures on the object. Each layer can be less than five microns thick. Alignment of such layers is preferably accomplished without having to deposit oversized alignment features. Multiple atomizers can be used to deposit the multiple materials. The busbar apparatus preferably has multiple nozzles, each of which is sufficiently wide to deposit a busbar in a single pass.


A deposition apparatus comprising one or more atomizers structurally integrated with a deposition head. The entire head may be replaceable, and prefilled with material. The deposition head may comprise multiple nozzles. Also an apparatus for three dimensional materials deposition comprising a tiltable deposition head attached to a non-tiltable atomizer. Also methods and apparatuses for depositing different materials either simultaneously or sequentially.

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