Industrial Automation Systems

Dot-forming Technology for High-precision 3D Metal Shaping

Produces high-quality 3D parts with few voids at high speed.
Our unique dot-forming technology has improved shape accuracy.


illustration: high-quality 3D

We have developed a dot-forming technology that realizes high-precision shaping by combining laser, computer numerical control (CNC) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM*1) technologies in a 3D printer. This new technology produces high-quality three-dimensional parts with few voids at high speed, employing a laser wire DED*2 method.

The developed technology will contribute to greater productivity in a wide range of applications, such as the "near-net*3" shaping of aircraft and automobile parts and build-up repairs.

Technology Point

High-quality 3D parts formed at high speed

Conventional 3D metal modeling equipment employs the powder bed fusion (PBF*4) method, in which stacked layers of thin metal powders are fused and bonded by a laser.

While PBF can form detailed, complicated shapes with high precision, time is required for modeling and voids tend to form inside the shaped objects.

The laser wire DED method, by contrast, offers the advantage of being able to form dense objects at high speed.

illustration: High-quality 3D parts formed at high speed

Improved shape accuracy through unique dot-forming technology

When shaping 3D objects using the laser wire DED method, the laser is used to melt and deposit the material. Heat generated by the laser and heat from the just-deposited material are transferred to the deposition base.

With continuous irradiation by the laser, the temperature of the deposition base rises. If a new molten material is then deposited on this extremely hot base, it can take time to solidify, during which time the shape can collapse under its own weight.

To prevent such issues, we have combined unique laser and CNC technologies, employing a pulsed laser to minimize heat input and ensure adequate cooling time.

In addition, we have controlled shape collapse using a technology that synchronizes the supply of wire and shield gas, and also controls the position of the laser irradiation point and the speed of motion of the laser.

illustration: Improved shape accuracy through unique dot-forming technology

Able to produce complex shapes

The production of complex shapes is further supported by the use of special-purpose CAM that automatically generates special forming paths corresponding to the dot-forming technology.

Using the new technology, it is also possible to produce hollow spheres and parts consisting of different materials, which cannot be formed using the cutting method.

  • photo: Able to produce complex shapes1
  • photo: Able to produce complex shapes2
  • photo: Able to produce complex shapes3
  1. * All figures are based on in-house comparisons.
  1. *1 Computer Aided Manufacturing: A technology that enables manufacturing set-up (formulation of programs to control processing, etc.) to be performed on computer, based on input three-dimensional shape data
  2. *2 Directed Energy Deposition: An additive manufacturing process that uses focused thermal energy to fuse materials as they are deposited layer by layer
  3. *3 A manufacturing technique that produces items in near-finished form
  4. *4 Powder Bed Fusion: A molding process that employs thermal energy to melt a powder bed