GE Additive will begin delivering the first M Line Factory laser-based additive manufacturing systems from its Concept Laser subsidiary by mid 2019, the result of extensive beta testing.
The M Line Factory series is a modular additive manufacturing platform that addresses the need for production-scale operation, including optimized production-floor space and operator requirements. It automates upstream and downstream stages of the production process and provides interfaces (automation, interlinking, digitization) to conventional manufacturing methods. While standalone machines may allow for economical series production, the M Line Factory’s modular machine architecture offers scalable automation and reliability.
GE noted that its rig and service-life testing identified several improvements that have been incorporated into the new system. This includes improved in-machine architecture and automation; enhanced serviceability, scalable modular system design and ease of service; a larger build platform (500 X 500 platform); modular onboard software system, with improved exposure strategies and real-time, in-situ process monitoring; and enhanced process control and thermal stability.
The system also includes a customized material handling function, and pre/post processing and powder management with an integrated sieving station.