With the observation of global industrial additive manufacturing market in 2023, an evident trend in Metal laser powder bed fusion technology is the increasing demand for producing large-format parts exceeding 600mm, which usually take days even weeks to fabricate. However, when faced with tight project schedules, the need for optimized production timeline of large-scale metal components becomes critical. In response to this market demand, Farsoon co-innovated with our customer Deep Blue Aerospace targeting higher yield and reduced cost in large-size parts manufacturing.
Farsoon and Deep Blue Aerospace’s R&D teams had dedicated months in testing and verifications – addressing key technical aspects before the completion of the project. The achievements include a good number of successful implementations of machine and process optimizations targeting high productivity and enhanced quality.
The object of focus is an IN718 combustion chamber of the rocket engine developed for the commercial launch projects, featuring a large size of 600mm in diameter and 780mm in height. Farsoon’s R&D team conducted a detailed analysis through the build process and identified over 20 key factors for productivity. The improved items include the optical system, process parameters, scanning strategy, powder recoating, electrical engineering, etc. After optimization, the production time of this combustion chamber was reduced from 327 hours to current 96.5 hours – a significant 338% increase in build efficiency.
Figure 1: Combustion chamber of the rocket engine (Image courtesy: Farsoon)
The success of this joint R&D project holds significant importance for Farsoon in enhancing the production efficiency in large-format metal powder bed fusion solutions. To fully explore the full potential of metal PBF productivity, Farsoon conducted intensive technology research and application innovations in many aspects:
Scanning Strategy – To ensure the quality and production speed of the large-size part, Farsoon developed advanced multi-laser scanning strategies and a fast-performing algorithm in overlapped areas. This innovation solution successfully addressed challenges in laser power control, galvo system calibration, overlap consistency, and multi-laser task coordination. The advanced multi-laser scanning strategy achieves enhanced control of the scanner and galvo through optimized parameters, significantly improved communication efficiency by 39% while ensuring internal metallurgical quality.
Figure 2: (Left) multi-laser overlapping area test block. (Right) Single-pass melt pool (Image courtesy: Farsoon)
Gas Flow – Smoke and dust generated during the metal laser sintering process can trigger energy dissipation during the down-wind side laser operation. Farsoon’s innovative gas flow design optimized for large-format platform enables on-time smoke removal and smooth operation of multiple lasers.
Control System – To facilitate higher efficiency of multi-laser operation, Farsoon’s R&D team optimized the control system to reduce waiting between the lasers and minimize non-working time of the machine. As a result, the multi-laser platform is able to offer higher efficiency in laser output for significantly improved build efficiency.
Optimized Parameters – Given the intricate internal cooling channels within the Combustion Chamber of the Rocket Engine, attaining a smooth surface is crucial to minimize flow resistance. Farsoon’s R&D team has meticulously customized the processing parameters to achieve the desired high-quality surface for the application needs.
Figure 3: (Left) Optimized surface roughness of test blocks. (Right) Metallographic photo of IN718 test block (XY) (Image courtesy: Farsoon)
Farsoon has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is achievable in metal laser powder bed fusion technology. Embracing the future of innovation and industrialization, Farsoon committed to providing users with comprehensive additive manufacturing solutions designed to reduce costs, enhance efficiency, and elevated quality for a broader market. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Deep Blue Aerospace:
Jiangsu Deep Blue Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd. (DBA), which was founded in November 2016, is a high-tech commercial aerospace enterprise focusing on the research and development of liquid reusable launch vehicles and providing commercial launch services, with integrating scientific research, production, test and launch services. Headquartered in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, Deep Blue Aerospace also has set up rocket technology & liquid engine R&D centers in Beijing Yizhuang and testing base of rocket power system in Tongchuan, Shanxi Province. The company finished China first liquid oxygen and kerosene rocket 10m, 100m and 1000m VTVL tests in 9 months.
OPEN FOR INDUSTRY – Farsoon Technologies, founded in 2009, is a global manufacturer and supplier of industrial level polymer and metal laser sintering systems. Farsoon is the leading supplier of industrial AM technology in China with increasing growth in the international market. In 2017, Farsoon released the first of a new series of machines under the revolutionary Continuous Additive Manufacturing Solution (CAMS), and established Farsoon Technologies-Americas in Austin, Texas, USA. Farsoon is committed to developing AM towards its true manufacturing potential and providing customers with best-in-class systems, materials, software, applications and services. Learn more: www.farsoon.com