11th CIRP Conference on Photonic Technologies (LANE)
Additive manufacturing of metals has become a leading technology for function-integrated and individualized components. Ongoing research leverages this technology from single-material parts to gradient compositions and multi-material combinations. Powder-based laser metal deposition is the preferred process for these novel applications because of the ability to add onto freeform surfaces and flexible material use. A crucial aspect of this powder-based process is material loss due to overspray. Furthermore, the shape and size of the powder stream must be altered depending on the intended use. For example, thin walls and fine details require a narrow powder focus whereas a larger focus can accelerate the manufacturing of volumes substantially. To address this challenge, novel 3D printable and replaceable nozzles are developed. Compared to common nozzle designs, this new approach enables quick changing of different sized nozzles and incorporates additively manufactured flow paths. Finally, the stream quality is visualized by Schlieren photography.