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Optomec LENS™

Optomec’s Laser Engineered Net Shape (LENS™) Unit is a type of directed laser deposition (DLD) technology that was developed in the mid to late 1990’s as a spin-off company from Sandia National Laboratories. The Ohio State University purchased the very first unit from Optomec in 1997, and worked with Optomec on a series of technical upgrades to the unit over the next four years. The LENS™ is based on a principle similar to stereolography in that a near-net shape three-dimensional component can be produced by an additive manufacturing route, rather than a subtractive route. The LENS™ incorporates a Nd:YAG laser (nominally 550 W maximum) to melt a portion of a metal substrate. Metal powder (either liquid or solid, depending on many variables including the melting point, reflectivity, laser power, and time of flight in the laser) is injected into this molten pool creating a larger volume of material. The LENS and substrate move relative to one another, and the liquid metal solidifies at rates that approach those theoretically calculated for Rapid Solidication Processing (RSP). Typically, the LENS™ deposited material has an extremely refined microstructure with possible texture in the build direction. The system at The Ohio State University incorporates a dual-powder feeder design to affect compositionally graded material. Additionally, lots of research within CAMM is focused on exploiting elemental blends to produce a very large variety of compositions in a very rapid manner.


  Nd:YAG, 1.064 mm wavelength

Wattage available at substrate:
  100-550 W

  VAC Atmosphere Glove Box with atmosphere regeneration system
  Slightly positive pressure Argon atmosphere

Oxygen Sensor:
  Illinois Instrument, typical O2 levels: 1-15 ppm

Dimensional Information:      
  2.5 degrees of freedom (x-y- 1/2 z)

Build Window:
  1 cubic foot
  Linear encoder Parker Daedal Motors

Model name and number:
  LENS™ 750       

LENS™ Papers Published by CAMM