An Introduction to Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)

Laminated object manufacturing (LOM) is frequently performed for rapid prototyping in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing companies use it to quickly build prototypes of products from an object model. The object model is designed in a computer program, after which it’s converted into a tangible product prototype. LOM is distinguished from other rapid prototyping processes, however, by involving the use of laminates. What is LOM exactly, and how does it work?

What Is LOM?

Pioneered by Helisys Inc., LOM is an additive manufacturing process that, like other additive manufacturing processes, involves building objects by depositing material. It’s called “laminated object manufacturing” because it uses layers of laminated material. Some LOM processes use paper laminates, whereas others use plastic or even metal laminates. Regardless, all LOM processes revolve around the use of laminates.

During LOM, objects are built using a 3D printer that deposits layers of laminates. Each layer of laminate is coated with an adhesive. Therefore, the layers naturally bind together as the 3D printer deposits them. This is in stark contrast to most other forms of additive manufacturing, which generally don’t use layers of material. Instead, they simply deposit raw material onto a printing bed. LOM is defined by its use of laminates, which are covered in an adhesive so that they bind together after being deposited by the 3D printer.

Advantages of LOM

There are several advantages to using LOM in the manufacturing industry, one of which is the ability to quickly produce prototypes. As previously mentioned, it’s commonly used for rapid prototyping. If a manufacturing company has a computer-generated model of a product, it can quickly build a prototype using LOM. It’s a faster and more efficient way to build prototypes than other manufacturing processes.

LOM supports the creation of both solid and hollow objects. Maybe a manufacturing company wants to build a solid prototype, or perhaps it wants to build a hollow prototype. Regardless, LOM is a versatile and effective solution that supports both types of objects.

Another advantage of LOM is its low cost. Since it supports the use of low-cost materials, including paper, LOM costs less than other forms of additive manufacturing. For manufacturing companies that want to lower the cost of their prototyping efforts, LOM is an attractive solution. It’s fast, efficient, supports both solid and hollow objects, and it costs less than other methods.

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