The Blok Group relies on maximum build envelope for laser melting of metals
Investment in two laser melting systems from Concept Laser for a wide range of 3D printing components
Lichtenfels (D) / Velsen-Noord (NL) – Blok Group, from the Netherlands, a top level technical partner in Engineering, Prototyping, Production, Assembly, Industrial services, Project Supply Chain Management and 3D-printing, is investing in two new laser melting systems from Concept Laser. They include an X line 2000R® system, which combines the largest build envelope currently available with the latest multilaser technology for reactive materials. A new M2 cusing supplements the manufacturing range in the medium-sized system segment.
The Blok Group views itself as a trend-setter and innovator with a comprehensive range of services for developing and producing high-quality components and solutions for demanding industries, including the aviation industry with its high quality and safety requirements. The Blok Group's development and manufacturing processes therefore comply with the AS 9100 C Aviation Standards, developed by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). Concept Laser's systems come with the tools, which the Blok Group needs for QS and documentation, and provide valid data during the build process.
Big build envelope for big jobs
The new X line 2000R® at Blok will be the first system of this scale in the Netherlands. With a build envelope of 800x400x500 mm3, the X line 2000R® currently offers the largest build envelope for laser melting metals. Its heart, the dual laser system in the X line 2000R®, is based on two 1,000 watt lasers. The useful build volume also increased nearly 27% from 126 l to 160 l compared with the X line 1000R. In addition, the X line 2000R® features a new sieving station that uses a quiet vibrating sieve instead of the tumbler sieve. The concept is incredibly compact, as the oversized particle container is now smaller, and has been integrated into the sieving station. The new sieving unit reduces the unit's footprint – and its fully enclosed design keeps the surrounding area clean and tidy. The dose unit has also been redesigned. The dose chamber is now filled completely and fully automatically within one cycle. Erik Blok, CEO of the Blok Group: "Speed and volume are important requirements for high-quality, economical production. The benefits offered by the X line 2000R® can also be seen clearly when compared with competing systems: It offers almost three to four times the build volume. Overall, the 2nd build module gives us high availability, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for additive manufacturing." The design of the X line 2000R® system is also suitable for processing reactive materials.
A new M2 cusing system by Concept Laser completes the range at Blok Group in the medium-sized machine segment. It has been redesigned compared with the previous model. The laser and the filter are also fully integrated into the system. The surface area of the filter has also been increased fivefold. Moreover the M2 cusing is fitted as standard with a water-submersible filter in order to guarantee safety when changing the filter. This system will be used in future to build medium-sized 3D geometries, positioning Blok as a comprehensive service provider for laser melting metals in the Netherlands. Installation of the new capacity will start in August 2015 with the M2 cusing, followed by the X line 2000R® in Q1 of 2016.
Strategic partnership between Blok Group, Landré and Concept Laser
The investment in 3D printing is testimony to a strategic, long-term partnership between the Blok Group, Landré and Concept Laser. In the partnership, the Blok Group serves as the technical manufacturing service provider, Landré is the local sales partner and Concept Laser is the system provider. Oliver Edelmann, Head of Sales Marketing at Concept Laser, describes the partnership as follows: “We are delighted to have found an important strategic partner in the Netherlands in the Blok Group. A partnership of this kind offers the processing company an opportunity to combine materials expertise and new design approaches for 3D geometries with optimal system parameters. This allows us to blend application requirements perfectly with system and process engineering options." Erik Blok adds: "This network allows us to operate in two directions: Redesigning existing products which until now have been built conventionally via machining, and manufacturing new products which are developed specifically for the opportunities that additive manufacturing offers as early as the design phase. Overall, the additive solutions offer diverse potential which cannot be achieved, or cannot be achieved satisfactorily with conventional machining strategies.
Blok Group as a 3D printing center
The Blok Group is head and shoulders above its competitors with its years of experience and expertise in manufacturing high-quality metal components. As a progressive and innovative company, the investment in additive manufacturing is an inevitable step towards the future.
Erik Blok: "As a leading manufacturer in the Netherlands metal industry, we intend this strategic investment to drive our future-proofing forward. The Blok Group is known for investments in the latest manufacturing technologies. In the early 1990s, we were the first company here to invest in state-of-the-art lathes and milling machines. And now we are the first to purchase the most advanced system technology for additive metal manufacturing. Our goal is to maximize the value added for us and our customers and to make the most of the options offered by the process."
Concept Laser trade fair appearances
MSV, Brünn (CZ) 14/09 – 18/09/2015
WESTEC, Los Angeles (USA) 15/09 – 17/09/2015
Dental-Expo, Moscow (RUS) 28/09 – 01/10/2015
TCT, Birmingham (UK) 30/09 – 01/10/2015
Concept Laser GmbH
An der Zeil 8
Telephone: +49 (0) 9571 / 1679-251
US Press Contact
Blok Group & Blok Additive Manufacturing
Witte Hekweg 3
NL-1951 HK Velsen-Noord
Tel.: +31 (0)251 260 000
Lange Dreef 10
NL-4131 NH Vianen
Tel.: +31 (0)347 329 329
Information on the Blok Group
The Blok Group from Velsen-Noord in the Netherlands consists of five highly-specialized companies which operate as technical partners for industrial customers. The wide range of services includes engineering, prototyping, production, assembly, industry service, project and supply chain management, as well as additive manufacturing (3D printing).
The Blok Group's development and manufacturing processes comply with the AS 9100 C Aviation Standards, developed by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). Many of the group's customers come from the aerospace industry.
The Blok Group offers customized solutions and strives to establish long-term partnerships along the supply chain. It prioritizes customer satisfaction and quality, which are the company's strategic goals. The group's staff of over 136 position the Blok Group as a full-range supplier which can cover the entire supply chain for the customer.
Information on LaserCUSING®
The LaserCUSING® process is used to create mechanically and thermally stable metallic components with high precision. Depending on the application, it can be used with stainless and tool steels, aluminum and titanium alloys, nickel-based superalloys, cobalt-chromium alloys or precious metals such as gold or silver alloys.
With LaserCUSING®, finely pulverized metal is fused using a high-energy fiber laser. After cooling, the material solidifies. Component contour is achieved by directing the laser beam with a mirror deflection unit (scanner). Construction takes place layer by layer (with each layer measuring 15-150 μm) by lowering the bottom surface of the construction space, then applying and fusing more powder.
Concept Laser systems stand out due to their stochastic control of the slice segments (also referred to as "islands"), which are processed successively. The patented process significantly reduces tension during the manufacture of very large components.
Overview of Concept Laser
Concept Laser GmbH is an independent company based in Lichtenfels, Germany. Since its founding in 2000, it has been a leading innovator in the field of laser melting with the patented LaserCUSING® technology across many industries.
The term LaserCUSING®, a combination of the C from CONCEPT Laser and the word FUSING (to fully melt), describes the technology: The fusing process generates components layer by layer using 3D CAD data.
The method allows the production of complex component geometries without tools to create parts that are difficult or even impossible to achieve through conventional manufacturing.
With the LaserCUSING® process, conformal cooling can be used to create tool inserts as well as direct components for the jewelry, medical, dental, automotive and aerospace industries. This applies to prototypes and series parts.
The company offers both standard systems and custom concepts for metal laser melting. With Concept Laser, full-service as an option means that customers can either purchase their own metal laser melting systems or rely directly on service and development services.
Laser machining systems from Concept Laser process powder materials made from stainless steel, hot work tool steels, cobalt-chromium alloy, nickel-base alloy as well as reactive powder materials such as aluminum and titanium alloys. Precious metals such as gold or silver alloys for jewelry making are also an option.
LaserCUSING® offers new perspectives in terms of cost and speed for efficient product development in industries such as:
• Medical and dental technology
• Aerospace industry
• Tool and mold construction
• Automotive and motor sports
• Mechanical engineering
The systems reduce development time and costs substantially while offering much greater flexibility in product development.
The high quality standards, level of experience and successful track record of Concept Laser guarantee reliable and cost-effective solutions with proven performance in everyday production, with a particular focus on unit cost reductions.
The art of LaserCUSING® by Concept Laser
Ideas for laser melting with metals in the following areas of application: automotive and motor sports, aerospace, medical and dental technology, tool and mold construction and machine engineering.