Formalloy X2 is an industrial grade AM system under the branch of direct energy deposition (DED). It is a powder-based system that utilizes a powder delivery nozzle coaxial to the power source, a Nd:YAG laser with maximum output of 500W and a spot size of 1.2mm. Equipped with two powder feeders, the X2 can handle large scale prints on its print bed of 8in x 8in as well as sample fabrication using only a small amount of experimental materials. Its alloy development feeder (ADF) allows change of material mid-print, making it capable of printing gradient materials. The application of Formalloy X2 system in our lab is currently focused on material processability and microstructure studies, as well as fabrication of samples used for mechanical testing.
The assembled laser DED simulator with the following major components: (a) the laser deposition head, (b) the y-motion stage system for the powder feeder nozzle, (c) the x–y motion system and controller from Thorlabs, which moves the enclosure, (d) the inert gas cylinders for the enclosure and powder feeder carrier gas, (e) the enclosure with Kapton windows and UV silica based laser transparent glass, (f) the structural support for the laser head, (g) the laser source box, (h) the powder feeder system along with the powder feed rate meter calculator and remote, (i) the air supply line for the powder feeder system input, and (j) a telescopic joint for entry of the powder feeder tube and nozzle. A scale bar is drawn on the enclosure for reference.