Laser-Sintering: from fine grain powders to complex, high-performing products
Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing and enables a move from more static procedures towards fast, more flexible and cost-effective serial production directly from electronic data. It originates in prototyping where parts identical in construction are produced in smaller quantities, yet more and more becomes an interesting alternative for Rapid Manufacturing as well. Laser-sintering is an additive layer manufacturing process. Without any tooling or time-consuming milling very complex, three-dimensional geometries can be constructed. In production, the previously created 3D CAD model is being decomposed into 20 to 100 µm layers. The laser-sintering technology then produces the desired geometry layer by layer. In this process, the laser energy solidifies the powdered material, be it plastic, metal or foundry sand into parts previously designed in 3D. A huge advantage of laser-sintering is that once the production data are created parts can be built based on the electronic data in any shape, at any time and anywhere.
The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle - from pre-development and prototyping up to rapid manufacturing or the supply of spare parts. Stuart Jackson, Regional Manager UK for EOS adds: laser-sintering accelerates product development and revolutionizes design - moving design rules from a manufacturing-driven design to a design-driven manufacturing approach. The technology frees design and construction from the restrictions of the production process creativity is no longer subject to the limitations of conventional methods of manufacturing. Focusing on the final product, the designer sketches individual, three-dimensional geometries and can create what is on his own and his customers mind: an end product with a high customer value.
In the digital world we live in today, customers are gradually demanding greater freedom of choice. Designers and brands are faced with new challenges in product diversity. Today, consumers not only demand possible modifications in colour or material but in product form too. Traditional manufacturing strategies simply cannot meet these requirements.
The Digital Forming platform consists of digital (software) and physical (supply chain) aspects which make mass customization a reality. For the first time ever, a set of 3D software solutions will allow the general public to co-create and co-design products with professional product designers through an online library or sales house. In a 3D environment, products can be modified in real time stretched, twisted, embossed, assembled all with the simple movement of a mouse. On top, users can adjust form, choose colour and material, save designs in an online library, and purchase when ready for delivery within two weeks. They will never be able to ruin the functionality of a pen, or the balance of a teapot the software will simply not allow it.
Digital Formings approach of Co-Design profoundly challenges the traditional role of the designer and the user/consumer of a product and as such is a revolutionary concept in the history of design. The software provided by Digital Forming offers the users the option of Co-Creating and Co-Designing products with a professional product designer. By this, a user can tweak existing designs to their personal taste within the constraints set by the original designer. This approach profoundly challenges the traditional roles of the Designer and the User/Consumer of an object, and is a revolutionary concept in the history of Design. Facing a product produced by this industrial process, the User is now confronted with questions never before asked: do I purchase the product as designed, or do I change it? And the Designer must now ask himself the question: when is this not my design anymore? The laser sintering technology and Digital Forming platform are arguably set to create an Industrial Revolution of the Digital Age.
EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS completed its business year 2007/2008 with revenues of approximately 70 million Euros, which is an increase of 17 percent compared to the previous year. The company employs 280 people worldwide, 230 of them at its headquarters in Krailling near Munich, Germany. For more information visit www.eos.info.
About Digital Forming
Digital Forming, set up in November 2008 by four partners, was awarded goverment funding in May 2009 to develop the vision of an online platform for the mass customization of designed lifestyle products. The company provides a platform that allows users to view and personalize the products they are about to buy in 3D. This platform will be presented to the public in October through www.UCODO.com. UCODO stands for User Co-Designed Object.
About the Science Museum
.From June 2009 the Science Museum is celebrating its hundredth birthday and a century of science with a year-long centenary programme to take the renowned institution into the future. For 100 years the Science Museum has been world-renowned for its historic collection, remarkable galleries and inspirational exhibitions. With around 15,000 objects on public display, the Science Museums collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past few centuries. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise. Further information: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk.
EOS Electro Optical Systems
Tel.: +49 89 893 36 134
Tel.: +44 7765 894 373
Tel.: +44 20 7942 4357
Für den Inhalt der Pressemitteilung ist der Einsteller, Claudia Jordan, verantwortlich.
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