ReaLizer machines use the selective laser melting process to fuse metal powder in a bed in a protected environment.
The ReaLizer brand name will remain. At DMG Mori’s annual Open House at its Deckel Maho factory in Pfronten, Germany in February, a first machine was badged the Lasertec 30 SLM with both DMG Mori and ReaLizer logos; it was said to be based on the ReaLizer SLM-300i machine shown at Formnext, with the addition of DMG Mori style-covers and a few internal changes. Its build volume is 300 by 300 by 300 mm, and offers laser sources whose power ranges from 400 W to 1 kW. Layer thicknesses range from 20 to 100 micron.
DMG Mori’s Sauer business already manufactures additive manufacturing machines, using a different process. Its Lasertec 65 3D hybrid subtractive and additive manufacturing machine adds to a DMG Mori base machine tool a laser head that melts blown powder; maximum part capacity is 500 mm diameter by 350 mm high. The Lasertec 4300 3D uses the same process in a six-sided turnmill machine for workpieces up to 660 by 1,500 mm.
The company says: “Selective laser melting in the powder bed opens up completely new areas of application for our customers.” In particular, the process is well-suited to small, complex workpieces.
Although ReaLizer is based in Borchen, machines will in future be built at DMG Mori’s Bielefeld, Germany factory nearby, Christian Thönes, chairman of the executive board of DMG Mori AG, said in a press conference at the Open House.
Dr Matthias Fockele
Speaking directly to ReaLizer founder Dr Matthias Fockele at the event, Thönes said: “Our dynamism and your competence is a really good combination.” (He also remarked later that he and Dr Masahiko Mori, president of majority parent DMG Mori Co Ltd of Japan, originally intended to buy Materialize outright, but balked at the cost: “It would have been a much too high investment,” he said).
DMG Mori is planning to release the Lasertec 30 SLM machine for sale in the May-June period. At the press conference, Thönes said: “We could start even now; we could do it; the machine is ready for series production, but let’s do one more quality check; that can’t do any harm.”
The deal is part of a trend toward consolidation in the additive manufacturing industry in Europe. Last year, GE bought German AM machine manufacturer Concept Laser and Swedish firm Arcam; in 2015 GF Machining Solutions began badging machines made by German 3D printer maker EOS.