Acknowledged for the development and commercialization of components, systems and equipment for the optimisation of manufacturing processes, Kurtz Ersa made its debut on the AM market with the Alpha 140 industrial 3D printer.
It all started with a collaboration with Laser Melting Innovations GmbH & Co. KG (LMI), a spin-off from the Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM), an institute at RWTH Aachen University.
By forming a cooperation, both organizations ambition to provide SMEs an affordable way to access 3D laser metal printing. Not to mention that with the go-to-market capabilities of Kurtz Erza, both companies have been able to accelerate the “time-to-market” capabilities of the Alpha 140 machine, from machine adaptations to the targeted integration of sensor technology.
So, what is this Alpha 140?
Based on laser beam powder bed fusion technology, the machine is manufactured by the Kurtz GmbH machine factory in Kreuzwertheim (Germany).
It integrates a build space with 140 mm diameter and 200 mm height. According to LMI, its footprint of 1,70 m x 0,95 m enables space-efficient use in production environments and research laboratories.
The Alpha 140 would be a good production candidate for complex geometric structures such as moulds with internal and near-contour cooling. Due to its fiber-coupled diode laser with 140 W power, it provides optimal properties for processing stainless steel, nickel alloys and tool steel alloys.
Furthermore, thanks to its open system design, it enables in-house material qualifications and the development of new types of materials.
To produce parts with the Alpha 140, operators will make use of the machine’s dedicated software for data preparation. Via preset parameters or extensive manual input, engineers can achieve a great number of tasks from component design to simulation and generation of support structures to data preparation, leading this way to the mapping of the entire AM workflow.
However, the machine can also be integrated in Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Netfabb which allows for the complete additive manufacturing workflow in one software package.
As inert gas flow is often a great variant in the build chamber, LMI explains on its website that “the laser optics, which is guided coaxially to the powder bed, enables a constant focus diameter in the entire build space. A laminar inert gas flow creates optimal process conditions for the inert welding process and for the protection of the laser optics. A nitrogen generator that can be optionally integrated into the machine housing enables an autonomous operation without additional external inert gas supply and reduces the process costs”.
Metal 3D printed parts produced with the Alpha 140 would reach strengths comparable to traditional PBF-LB machines with densities greater than 99.5%. So far, all indications are that the machine would be an economic investment, which could be a positive point for the European Green Deal’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
While waiting for more customer use cases that will confirm this assertion, let’s note that the industrial machine is already accessible through Kurtz Ersa’s distribution network. Users could benefit from a demo session of the new system through demo centers of Kurtz Ersa, as well as from a 24-hour service wherever they are in the world.
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