Sheet lamination is an AM process where sheets of material are bonded layer by layer to produce the part. In this process, the material sheet is placed on the build platform and is bonded to the previous layer using adhesive. The material is cut in the required shape of the model using the CO2 laser or a very sharp blade. Here the material can also be cut initially and then bonded to the previous layer. Then a new layer of material is added.
This process is used to produce coloured products with high resolution. Here the layer thickness of the part is equal to the sheet material thickness. LOM is a type of sheet metal lamination and is one of the first additive manufacturing processes which uses a layer by layer lamination of paper material sheets which are cut using a laser. In LOM, one side of the materials sheet is covered with an adhesive material which is bonded to the existing layer when a heater roller pass through the cross section of the material. The heated roller melts the adhesive and bonds with the previous layer. Then a laser or a knife cut the new layer cross section. The unused material is left as a support material and is diced using a crosshatch pattern into small cubes. The process of bonding and cutting repeats until the part is finished.
Advantages of LOM
• Large parts can be printed
• Low cost and are easy material handling.
Disadvantages of LOM
• Final parts cannot be used as functional parts
• The structural quality of the parts is limited.