WHAT IS IT?
Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) is a RP technique for manufacturing of 3-D objects based on 3-D geometrical data. The starting point is sliced data of the object, which is used for controlling a laser beam that cuts the contours of foil materials. During the process, these foils will be glued together and the desired model is created layer by layer.
The computer that runs the system is capable of slicing a 3-D solid model into thin two-dimensional cross sections. The thickness of each cross-section is equal to the thickness of the material used in the process. The mechanical part of the system contains an unwinding and rewinding roll connected by a ribbon of sheet material, routed through several idler rollers. These rolls store and supply the material. The laminated part is grown on a platform capable of a vertical incremental movement under the action of a stepping motor. Above the platform there is a heated roller, capable of heating and compressing the ribbon on the stack of laminations on the platform. As a result of a single reciprocal motion of the heated roller the ribbon material is bounded to the top of the stack. An x-y positioning table carries two mirrors that reflect a beam from CO2 laser and a lens that focuses the beam on the upper surface of the laminated stack in order to cut the very top layer. Scrap pieces remain on the platform as the part is being built. They are diced by the laser beam into cross hatched squares and serve as a support structure for the part. The product comes out of the machine as a rectangular block containing the part and the cubes due to a ''cross hatch'' cut by the laser are separated easily from the part. The LOM parts have the look and the feel of wood.