Laser Prototypes Europe (LPE) is one of the UK and Ireland’s longest-standing specialists in rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing for a plethora of industries. Among its many services is DMLS (direct metal laser sintering) – the 3D printing of metal parts.
The DMLS process requires a lot of heat and energy to sinter the powder, which creates in-built stresses that can lead to distortion of the part. To counter this effect, heatsinks and anchors must be added to the component. After 3D printing, wire EDM is used as a finishing process to remove these and achieve final tolerance. LPE has just added a second machine to its portfolio, a VL600QH from Sodi-Tech EDM, which is performing duties some 50% faster than the existing Sodick machine installed in 2017.
Installed in late July 2019, the Sodick VL600QH with linear motor technology is an advanced, high-performance wire EDM with the capability to accommodate tall workpieces thanks to 500mm of travel in the Z axis.
“We deliberately opted for a machine with axis travels that would allow us to grow the size of workpiece we can process,” explains Managing Director Tom Walls.
“There are many factors that set us apart from our competitors, for instance, all customers receive a rapid quote, a dedicated project team and ongoing support and advice from a designated sales contact. Moreover, our knowledge is second to none, which is why we are continuing our research with universities and industry, and currently support four PhD students and four post-doctoral students with their research in advanced process control and powder development for metal laser sintering.”