Optomec has just announced a new addition to their line of 3D printers.  It's called the LENS 450 and it's designed to offer lower-cost entry into metal additive manufacturing.  Each Lens 450 system retails for around $299,000.  To put that price in perspective, the LENS 450 costs $1.1 million less than Optomec's LENS 850R, which retails for $1.3 million.

The LENS 450 uses Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication to build parts that are used in the Electronics, Biomedical, Aerospace and Defense industries.

The building process for the LENS 450 begins with a CAD model that tells the printer what to do.  Once the CAD file is loaded, Optomec has a proprietary feed system that lays down metal powder within a 100 x 100 x 100 mm build envelope.  A 400W IPG fiber laser gets fired into the powder, fusing it together one layer at a time.  The LENS 450 system is capable of working with a variety of building materials including super alloys, stainless steel, cobalt chrome and titanium.

The first delivery of a LENS 450 3D Printer will be to the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at the University of Pittsburgh.  It will be used to train students on metal additive manufacturing techniques.