Sodick OPM250E combines milling with 3D printing

The Sodick OPM250E metal 3D printer with integral linear motor drive milling centre is said to represent the industry’s first one-step solution for the entire metal 3D printing process.

The OPM250E has been developed to provide particular benefits in the design and manufacture of injection mould tools, combining the ability of metal 3D printing to create cooling channels of optimum shape and geometry (which cannot be machined by conventional means), with the high speed milling necessary for tool finishing.

In simple terms, the OPM250E operates as follows. First, a metal powder is uniformly coated and then melted and solidified by scanning with a laser beam (this process can be repeated up to 10 times) before the surface is subjected to high speed milling. After machining, the metal powder is uniformly coated again and the process is repeated until the geometry is complete.