US20140356472A1 - Method and device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object that is suitable for application to microtechnology - Google Patents

Method and device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object that is suitable for application to microtechnology Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140356472A1
US20140356472A1 US14/306,988 US201414306988A US2014356472A1 US 20140356472 A1 US20140356472 A1 US 20140356472A1 US 201414306988 A US201414306988 A US 201414306988A US 2014356472 A1 US2014356472 A1 US 2014356472A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
laser
pulsed
radiation
building
electromagnetic radiation
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Abandoned
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US14/306,988
Inventor
Johann Oberhofer
Joachim Göbner
Hans-Ulrich Büse
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3D MICROPRINT GmbH
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3D MICROPRINT GmbH
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Priority to DE102010008960A priority Critical patent/DE102010008960A1/en
Priority to DE102010008960.5 priority
Priority to US13/032,283 priority patent/US8784720B2/en
Application filed by 3D MICROPRINT GmbH filed Critical 3D MICROPRINT GmbH
Priority to US14/306,988 priority patent/US20140356472A1/en
Assigned to EOS GMBH ELECTRO OPTICAL SYSTEMS reassignment EOS GMBH ELECTRO OPTICAL SYSTEMS ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BUSE, HANS-ULRICH, GOBNER, JOACHIM, OBERHOFER, JOHANN
Publication of US20140356472A1 publication Critical patent/US20140356472A1/en
Assigned to 3D MICROPRINT GMBH reassignment 3D MICROPRINT GMBH ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: EOS GMBH ELECTRO OPTICAL SYSTEMS
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • B29C67/0085
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B33ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY
    • B33YADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, i.e. MANUFACTURING OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL [3-D] OBJECTS BY ADDITIVE DEPOSITION, ADDITIVE AGGLOMERATION OR ADDITIVE LAYERING, e.g. BY 3-D PRINTING, STEREOLITHOGRAPHY OR SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING
    • B33Y30/00Apparatus for additive manufacturing; Details thereof or accessories therefor
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B22CASTING; POWDER METALLURGY
    • B22FWORKING METALLIC POWDER; MANUFACTURE OF ARTICLES FROM METALLIC POWDER; MAKING METALLIC POWDER
    • B22F10/00Additive manufacturing of workpieces or articles from metallic powder
    • B22F10/20Direct sintering or melting
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C64/00Additive manufacturing, i.e. manufacturing of three-dimensional [3D] objects by additive deposition, additive agglomeration or additive layering, e.g. by 3D printing, stereolithography or selective laser sintering
    • B29C64/10Processes of additive manufacturing
    • B29C64/106Processes of additive manufacturing using only liquids or viscous materials, e.g. depositing a continuous bead of viscous material
    • B29C64/124Processes of additive manufacturing using only liquids or viscous materials, e.g. depositing a continuous bead of viscous material using layers of liquid which are selectively solidified
    • B29C64/129Processes of additive manufacturing using only liquids or viscous materials, e.g. depositing a continuous bead of viscous material using layers of liquid which are selectively solidified characterised by the energy source therefor, e.g. by global irradiation combined with a mask
    • B29C64/135Processes of additive manufacturing using only liquids or viscous materials, e.g. depositing a continuous bead of viscous material using layers of liquid which are selectively solidified characterised by the energy source therefor, e.g. by global irradiation combined with a mask the energy source being concentrated, e.g. scanning lasers or focused light sources
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C64/00Additive manufacturing, i.e. manufacturing of three-dimensional [3D] objects by additive deposition, additive agglomeration or additive layering, e.g. by 3D printing, stereolithography or selective laser sintering
    • B29C64/10Processes of additive manufacturing
    • B29C64/141Processes of additive manufacturing using only solid materials
    • B29C64/153Processes of additive manufacturing using only solid materials using layers of powder being selectively joined, e.g. by selective laser sintering or melting
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C64/00Additive manufacturing, i.e. manufacturing of three-dimensional [3D] objects by additive deposition, additive agglomeration or additive layering, e.g. by 3D printing, stereolithography or selective laser sintering
    • B29C64/20Apparatus for additive manufacturing; Details thereof or accessories therefor
    • B29C64/264Arrangements for irradiation
    • B29C64/268Arrangements for irradiation using laser beams; using electron beams [EB]
    • B29C64/273Arrangements for irradiation using laser beams; using electron beams [EB] pulsed; frequency modulated
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B33ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY
    • B33YADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, i.e. MANUFACTURING OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL [3-D] OBJECTS BY ADDITIVE DEPOSITION, ADDITIVE AGGLOMERATION OR ADDITIVE LAYERING, e.g. BY 3-D PRINTING, STEREOLITHOGRAPHY OR SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING
    • B33Y10/00Processes of additive manufacturing
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02PCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN THE PRODUCTION OR PROCESSING OF GOODS
    • Y02P10/00Technologies related to metal processing
    • Y02P10/25Process efficiency

Abstract

The present invention relates to a method and a device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object, wherein the object is generated by successively solidifying single layers of fluid or powdery solidifiable building material by the action of electromagnetic radiation. The method comprises steps for emitting a first pulsed electromagnetic radiation onto a first area of a layer of the building material, and for emitting a second continuous electromagnetic radiation onto a second area of the layer of the building material.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a divisional of copending application U.S. Ser. No. 13/032,283, filed on Feb. 22, 2011, which claims under 35 U.S.C. §119(a) the benefit of German Application No. 10 2010 008 960.5, filed Feb. 23, 2010, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • (a) Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to a method and a device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object. The manufactured object is in particular suitable for application in the field of microtechnology.
  • (b) Description of the Related Art
  • EP 0 758 952 B1 describes a known method and device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object, where the object is generated by successive solidification of single layers of a liquid or powdery solidifiable building material by action of electromagnetic radiation. Here, the electromagnetic radiation is preferably a pulsed laser radiation. DE 100 28 063 A1 and DE 100 65 960 A1 show a similar device, where the electromagnetic radiation is a pulsed laser radiation.
  • DE 102 58 934 A1 describes a method and a device for selectively connecting bodies with supports by means of laser beams. A pulsed laser radiation is applied and the radiation pressure is used for compacting and additionally heating the powder layer. As described, the method is applicable to the generation of microstructures. The parts producible by the known method, in particular metal parts, however, have a residual porosity, for which reason they are not suitable for certain applications in the microtechnology field.
  • SUMMARY
  • An object of the present invention is therefore to provide a method and a device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object that may, in turn, be utilized in the field of microtechnology.
  • This object is solved by a method for manufacturing a three-dimensional object and by a device for manufacturing the three-dimensional object.
  • The method and device according to the present invention may be used suitably and advantageously in a micro laser sintering (micro-LS) process, by which three-dimensional objects, with a resolution in the range of micrometers, are built-up.
  • By such a method and device, three-dimensional components with enhanced density may be produced, and the mechanical properties of the manufactured component may be improved correspondingly.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • Further features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the description of embodiments by means of the accompanying drawings. In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object according to one or more embodiments of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring now to FIG. 1, a laser sintering device comprises a frame 1, which is open towards the top and has a platform 2 arranged therein that is movable in a vertical direction. The platform 2 is adapted to carry the three-dimensional object 3 to be manufactured. The frame 1 and the platform 2 define inside a building space. The platform 2 is connected to a lifting mechanism 12 that moves the platform 2 in a vertical direction so that the layer of the object 3 that is to be solidified is arranged in a working plane 4, respectively.
  • Furthermore, a coating device 5 for applying a layer of a powdery building material 3 a is provided. Regarding the building material 3 a, any laser-sinterable powder or powders may be used, such as polymers, for example, polyamide and/or polystyrene, metals, ceramics, compound materials and in particular high temperature plastics such as for example PAEK (polyaryletherketone). Regarding metal-containing powder material, any metals and their alloys, as well as blends with metallic components or with non-metallic components may be utilized. At first, the building material 3 a is fed from a reservoir 6 to the frame 1. The coating device 5 is then moved to a predetermined height in the working plane 4, so that the layer of the powdery building material 3 a lies with a defined height above the previously solidified layer. The device further comprises a laser 7 to generate a laser beam 7 a, focused by means of a deflection device 8 to any points in the working plane 4. In so doing, the laser beam 7 a can selectively solidify the powdery building material 3 a at positions corresponding to the cross-section of the object 3 to be manufactured. Regarding lasers, any laser or lasers may be used that are suitable for laser sintering or laser melting of the corresponding building material, respectively, for example, CO2-lasers, solid state lasers and others.
  • Reference numeral 10 refers to a process chamber, in which the frame 1, the platform 2, the lifting mechanism 12, and the coating device 5 can be arranged. Reference numeral 9 refers to an opening in the process chamber 10 for introducing the laser beam 7 a. Preferably, a protective gas is introduced into the process chamber 10. Further, a control unit 11 is provided, through which the device is controlled in a coordinated manner for carrying out the building process.
  • The laser sintering device, in a preferred embodiment, may be a micro laser sintering device. Micro laser sintering is characterized in that very fine powders are used and very thin layers are applied. By means of micro laser sintering, a resolution in the range of 10-20 μm or less may be reached. The powders that are used have a grain size in the range of approximately 1 nm to approximately 100 nm. The grain size is measured using laser diffraction according to DIN ISO 13320-1. The layer thickness of the applied powder layers is approximately 1 μm up to a approximately 100 μm. Generally, for the micro laser sintering the grain size and the layer thickness are sized such that the surface forces are greater than the gravitational forces. The beam diameter used may be between approximately 1 μm up to approximately 20 μm. The laser may preferably be a fiber laser or a YAG-laser. Any suitable powder from materials that can be applied in the field of microtechnology may be used. In a preferred embodiment, a metal powder is used
  • In operation of the device in a first step the platform 2 is moved by means of the lifting mechanism 12 until its uppermost side is located one layer thickness beneath the working surface 7. Then a first layer of the building material 3 a is applied to the platform 2 via the reservoir 6 and the coating device 5 , and the building material 3 a is then leveled or evened-out. Thereafter, the control unit 11 controls the deflection device 8 so that the deflected laser beam 7 a selectively hits the positions of the layer of the building material 3 a to be solidified. Thereby, at these positions the building material 3 a is solidified or sintered such that the three-dimensional object 3 is generated.
  • In a subsequent step the platform 2 is lowered by the lifting mechanism 12 by one layer thickness (the thickness of one layer of building material 3 a to be sequentially sintered). By means of the reservoir 6 and the coating device 5, a second layer of building material is applied, evened and selectively solidified by means of the laser beam 7 a. These steps are repeated until the desired object 3 is manufactured.
  • By means of the method and device according to the embodiments of the present invention, the laser 7 is controlled by means of the control unit 11 in two different operating modes. The first operating mode causes a first pulsed radiation 7 a of the laser 7 with a first frequency. The second mode of operation causes a second radiation, that is a pulsed radiation with a higher frequency compared to the first pulsed radiation, or is a continuous radiation. The frequency of the first pulsed radiation may be, for example between 60 kHz and 450 kHz, preferably approximately 60 kHz to 300 kHz. The frequency of the second pulse radiation may be, for example, between 200 kHz and 450 kHz.
  • The pulsed laser radiation 7 a can be generated by pulsed excitation or also by measures within the laser 7 itself (Q-switching or mode coupling). With the pulsed laser radiation the laser beam 7 a is not emitted continuously as with a CW-laser (continuous wave laser), but is emitted in a pulsed manner, i.e. in timely limited pulses.
  • Preferably, a laser 7 is used that can emit both, a pulsed radiation 7 a as well as a continuous radiation 7 a. For the latter, a CW-laser is operated in a pulsed manner by switching on and off the “pumping power” in short cycles. Carbon dioxide laser can be operated in this way, and can be pushed up to more than 1 kHz. In another embodiment, is the generation of the pulses is by a combination of a CW-laser and a modulator, such as, for example, a simple chopper.
  • After the coating device 5 has applied and evened a layer of the building material 3 a, the irradiation of the layer of the building material 3 a is effected in two steps. First, a first pulsed electromagnetic radiation 7 a is irradiated onto a first area of a layer of the building material, and subsequently a second pulsed radiation or a continuous electromagnetic radiation 7 a is irradiated onto a second area of the layer of the building material 3 a.
  • Preferably, the first and the second area of the layer overlap at least partially. The areas may also fully overlap and can represent partial areas of one layer or the whole layer. Further preferably, a time period is provided between the irradiation of the first pulsed electromagnetic radiation 7 a onto the building material 3 a and the irradiation of the second pulsed or continuous electromagnetic radiation 7 a onto the building material 3 a, during which the building material 3 a irradiated with the first pulsed electromagnetic radiation 7 a solidifies.
  • The combination of the first pulsed radiation and the second pulsed radiation or the continuous radiation 7 a has a synergistic effect. First, the first pulsed radiation 7 a causes the break-up of the surface tensions of the powder particles in the building material 3 a and the bonding of the powder grains. Second, the second pulsed or continuous radiation 7 a causes a further compaction of porous sintering structures in the building material 3 a that has already been irradiated with the first pulsed electromagnetic radiation 7 a. Thus, with the second radiation the forming of melting beads is prevented.
  • In a an alternate embodiment, through a timely alternation, a first area of a layer can be irradiated with the first pulsed radiation and subsequently a second area of the layer that does not overlap the first area can be irradiated with the second continuous radiation. A plurality of first and second areas may thus be provided.
  • By the division of the layers in first and second areas that are irradiated in a pulsed manner or continuously and that overlap fully, partially or don't overlap at all, the energy or heat input into the layer can be controlled and harmonized advantageously so that stresses in the layer can be reduced.
  • The method according to the embodiments of the present invention, and the corresponding device, are advantageously suitable for micro laser sintering (micro-LS), wherein three-dimensional objects having details in the range of micrometers, are built-up.
  • The scope of the invention is not limited to the embodiments described herein but includes other equivalents and modifications as far as they fall into the scope defined by the attached claims.
  • The present invention is not only suitable for a laser sintering method, but also for a laser melting method, as well as stereolithography.
  • Additionally, as an alternative to using laser radiation as electromagnetic radiation, a particle radiation, such as for example, electron radiation, may be used.
  • Furthermore, instead of a single laser, two or more laser light sources may be used.

Claims (4)

1-17. (canceled)
18. A device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object comprising:
means for generating the object by successively solidifying single layers of a liquid or powdery solidifiable building material by the action of an electromagnetic radiation,
a first pulse electromagnetic radiation generator; and
a second pulse electromagnetic radiation generator;
wherein within a layer, a first pulsed electromagnetic radiation and a second pulsed electromagnetic radiation with a higher frequency than the first pulsed electromagnetic radiation or a continuous electromagnetic radiation is used.
19. The device according to claim 18, further comprising a single laser adapted to emit both, a first pulsed laser radiation as well as a second pulsed or a continuous laser radiation .
20. The device according to claim 18, further comprising a first laser that emits a pulsed laser radiation and a second laser that emits a pulsed or a continuous laser radiation.
US14/306,988 2010-02-23 2014-06-17 Method and device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object that is suitable for application to microtechnology Abandoned US20140356472A1 (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE102010008960A DE102010008960A1 (en) 2010-02-23 2010-02-23 Method and device for producing a three-dimensional object that is particularly suitable for use in microtechnology
DE102010008960.5 2010-02-23
US13/032,283 US8784720B2 (en) 2010-02-23 2011-02-22 Method and device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object that is suitable for application to microtechnology
US14/306,988 US20140356472A1 (en) 2010-02-23 2014-06-17 Method and device for manufacturing a three-dimensional object that is suitable for application to microtechnology

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