What Sheet Lamination isThere are two main methods in Sheet Lamination. The first method is Ultrasonic Addition Manufacturing (UAM). In this method, room-temperature metal sheets are bonded together by the application of ultrasonic waves and mechanical pressure . Then, the sheets are sliced using a laser or by milling before or after the metal is bonded. This produces each layer that will be stacked together to create a 3D model. The parts can be polished before or after this slicing process to achieve a finish.
The second method is Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM). In this method, the paper sheets are heated by a roller that also presses them against the build plate to improve the adhesion . The surrounding boundaries of the part are usually created with cross-hatching to provide easier extraction when the process is finished . A subprocess, Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL), uses colored printed sheets of paper to create full-color 3D objects.
- The material is positioned in place on the build bed.
- The material is bonded in place using adhesive on the previous layer.
- A laser cuts the required shape from the layer.
- Steps two and three can be reversed. The material can be cut then bonded onto the previous layer. This process repeats until the model is complete.
Once the model is taken out of the surrounding material, is extruded, the layers are exposed to the ambient air and harden. There is no additional material used to cure a build.
This process uses metals, like aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and titanium alloys, and paper. Metals are most suitable for UAM, papers are most suitable for LOM, and it is also possible to use plastic .
Equipment Used Today
UAM provides a reliable way to join dissimilar metals, and it is ideal for creating new material combinations . LOM is usually used for rapid prototyping since it can’t produce parts with complex geometries, which lack dimensional accuracy . SDL might be a cost-effective option for full-color prototyping.
Pros and Cons
- UAM requires low levels of energy since the metal sheets aren’t melted 
- LOM uses cheap materials that are very easy to handle 
- Ability to integrate as hybrid manufacturing systems 
- Full color prints – LOM/SDL can print in the whole color spectrum 
- Both techniques are also relatively fast 
- Low part strength in LOM 
- Lengthy post-processing UAM 
- Hollow parts (internal voids and cavities) are difficult to produce in some types of sheet lamination processes 
- Material waste can also be high if the part being made is smaller than the build area or the sheet size 
- Finishes can vary depending on paper or plastic material but may require post-processing to achieve the desired effect 
Video Demonstration of the Sheet Lamination Process