Direct metal deposition (DMD) can be up to 250-330% faster than manual laser cladding. New additive manufacturing 2.0-capable laser welding systems can now be equipped with a recently developed powder nozzle from O.R. Lasertechnologie that enables fully automatic layerwise build-up.
This solution is said to offer enormous potential for tool and mold making applications at small and mid-sized companies.
In contrast to conventional laser cladding, which usually requires a welder to feed filler wire almost entirely by hand, the new approach is fully automated and highly precise. This boosts productivity and can affordably enhance existing equipment.
In DMD, a powder nozzle coaxially feeds metal powder into the laser beam onto an existing surface. The process can be completely automated and even works with laser systems with an average output of only 300W. It can be used on three-dimensional surfaces and lends itself to a wide range of uses: enhancing surfaces, modifying shapes, and restoring damaged forming, punching, and injection molding tools and dies to a like-new condition.