SLM Solutions reaches new heights in industrial AM with newly launched 12-Laser Machine

Quad laser AM systems have long been considered as the standard in Additive Manufacturing. With the launch of the NXG XII 600, SLM Solutions achieves a milestone in the use of advanced manufacturing technologies.

The mystery was revealed yesterday after weeks of teasing from the Selective Laser Melting pioneer. We fell the excitement from CEO Meddah Hadjar and the entire team of the German machine manufacturer.

Qualified as “the absolute highlight” of Hadjar’s entire career (watch the video below), the compact machine with a robust design was designed from scratch for serial production and features a whole new optic system. It is based on a tailor-made laser scanning system to best fit the build area.  

With 12 lasers with 1 KW each and a square build envelope of 600x600x600 mm, NXG XII 600 is designed to be 20 times faster compared to SLM®280 Single Laser System – a single laser machine -. The manufacturer explains that all 12 optics provide spot size definition via a double lens system called zoom function, enabling customers to choose between different spot sizes in the focal plane which boosts build-up rates to 1000 cc/h and more. Producing a higher yield of parts in a single build job thereby enables mass production at low cost-per-part.

Sam O’Leary, COO at SLM Solutions, is enthusiastic about the machine launch and underlines that a new era of manufacturing has started: “The NXG Xll 600 is a revolution in industrial manufacturing. Up until now, the limit had been considered to be that of a quad laser system – what we deliver here with 12kW of installed laser power is truly ground-breaking and a major step forward, not just for additive manufacturing, but for manufacturing in general. The potential cost reduction and productivity gains that this machine offers you means for the first time in the history of additive manufacturing, you can have true serial production fully integrated into your supply chain.” 

Integration into factories and supply chains

The manufacturer did not only focus on peak productivity. It has also imagined the use of the new jewel in an industrial 4.0 environment hence the integration of automated features like an automatic build cylinder exchange, automatic build start as well as an external preheating station and external depowder station.

Added to this the new gas-flow setup and the use of the patented bi-directional recoating, it becomes easier to achieve homogeneous part properties all over the building platform.

Furthermore, customers will have to choose between two different powder-handling options to keep downtime between each build job to a minimum.  

Last but not least, UI concept reduces training requirements, therefore makes it easier for the operator to leverage the machine and optimize the workflow.

This year might have been filled with ups and downs, but SLM Solutions intends to keep its pioneering position in the game by bringing multi-laser technology to new levels.

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