Did you know, our project manager Reto Nardini, who is responsible for the validation of our 3D printers, is no rookie in additive manufacturing. He was part of a team working on new innovations in the medtech field, with the responsibility to develop the additive manufacturing activities.
In February 2010, Reto manufactured test coupons in two different build jobs with the same settings, on the same machine. What do you think went wrong during the second build job?
The following parameters were used:
- 1.4404 powder
- Powder bed fiber laser melting at 200W
- 0.15mm weld distance
- 30um layers
- Rubber blade
- 0.4% Oxygen/ 99% Nitrogen
At the red line in the picture, the system stopped with an unspecific “Laser error”. However, the job was still continued. It turned out that the fiber laser had a malfunction causing it to run at an actual power of 150W instead as indicated 200W. In conclusion, the deteriorated down face is due to a 25% reduced laser power. A replacement of the laser was required.
A selective laser melting process can be influenced by many different parameters. Sometimes, it is not easy to detect the source of error, that leads to a process instability.
Get in touch with Reto Nardini our validation expert to discuss your challenges with process stability.