20 March 2007 Microstructure devices generation by selective laser melting
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Abstract
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is a generative manufacturing procedure mainly known for the application with metal powders. From these, metallic structures are produced in a layer-by-layer way. This layer-related procedure is comparable to the stereolithographic manufacturing of polymer devices. On a base plate, a thin layer of metal powder is spread. The powder is locally completely melted by the application of a focused laser beam. The base plate is then lowered by a value defined by the thickness of the metal layer, metal powder is spread again, and the local melting process is re-initiated. The complete procedure is continued as described, until the device is manufactured in the defined way. Commercially available metal powder can be used as base material. In principle, the SLM process should be suitable for the generation of metallic microstructures. The main precondition for the generation of microstructures by SLM is that the spatial resolution of the laser focus is small and precise enough to generate microstructure walls of around 100μm thickness in a reproducible way by melting metal powder. The walls should be gas- and leak-tight. In this publication, experimental results of the generation of metallic microstructure devices by SLM will be given. The process will be described in details. Process parameters for the generation of stainless steel devices having wall thicknesses in the range of about 100μm will be given. Examples for microstructure devices made by SLM will be shown. The devices can be manufactured in a reproducible way. Moreover, very first preliminary results on the use of ceramic powder as base material will be presented.
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Juergen J. Brandner, Edgar Hansjosten, Eugen Anurjew, Wilhelm Pfleging, Klaus Schubert, "Microstructure devices generation by selective laser melting", Proc. SPIE 6459, Laser-based Micro- and Nanopackaging and Assembly, 645911 (20 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.698249; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.698249
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