Skip to main content

3D printing very close to the series part

EMKA has recently expanded its test laboratory by incorporating a state-of-the-art 3D printer that utilises the latest Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) technology. During this procedure – called selective laser sintering – minute polymer powder particles are sintered into a solid structure. The process uses a powerful laser, which is guided by a computer-aided design (CAD) model. This offers advantages in terms of sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

Perfect sustainable parts in record time

The printing procedure typically requires less than 12 hours because of the printer‘s impressive sintering speed of 20 mm per hour. The subsequent automated finishing process is completed in just 15 minutes. The chamber is a closed, sustainable cycle. The powder used during printing but not incorporated into the product is reused. This is because not only fresh powder but also loose or previously used powder can be utilised. The mixing ratio is 70:30 – 70% used powder and 30% fresh powder.

Unlimited individuality

The components manufactured through 3D printing are just as superior as those produced by injection moulding. The components exhibit approximately 90% of their properties, as the PA12 (polyamide 12) utilised in 3D printing demonstrates resilience and dimensional stability equivalent to the PA6 (polyamide 6) employed in injection moulding. The surfaces are homogeneous and have no residue from support geometries.

All tasks, including printing and polishing, are fully automated. Because the 3D printer has two construction chambers, continuous production is possible without downtime. As a result, EMKA can now not only rapidly produce its own prototypes or spare parts but also fulfil urgent customer orders without delay.