Optomec, which makes metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems, says that a recent benchmark study shows directed energy deposition (DED) technology is 10 times faster and five times less expensive than powder bed fusion (PBF) for building mid-size metal parts.

‘The two most commonly-used commercial methods for laser-based metal additive manufacturing technology today are PBF and powder-fed DED,’ said Lucas Brewer, LENS application development manager at Optomec. ‘Each has core strengths and can be used for similar projects. So, what we wanted to clarify with this study was when is one method better than the other.’

The study aimed at determining the relative print speed and price to build a mid-size (150 mm in diameter, 200 mm tall) metal part made of Inconel material. To establish a baseline, a part geometry was selected that could be built without support structures. A conical shape housing with internal tubular structures was designed and production was outsourced to two separate and independent service providers.

More information on the study can be found here.

This story uses material from Optomec, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.