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The Selective Laser Melting technique

Ortofon logo

One of the new technologies that is specifically product related is the Selective Laser Melting manufacturing technique.

At the end of 2008 Ortofon introduced a completely new model that was designed in cooperation with the Danish Technological Institute.
The SPU 90th Anniversary phono cartridge was thought as a celebration of a significant milestone in the Ortofon history and was the result of a research that incorporated the technological heritage of Ortofon with the new manufacturing technology called Rapid Manufacturing (RM).

The cooperation with the Danish Technological Institute originally began with experiments with the production of plastic items for cartridges in the Selective Laser Melting machine using the new RM technology. RM allows manufacure parts in different materials directly from 3D file.

The RM technology has given us a bigger creative designing space, because we are no longer limited by a particular geometric shape. We do not produce tools, which means that the production process is reduced to a few weeks where it before took between 4 to 6 months. The time factor means that we can now try out our ideas, and it gives us an enormous amount of freedom.

What makes the SPU 90th Anniversary unique is that its body is a precision-made one piece frame, designed to allow a more perfect physical connection between the various subparts. The microparticles are laser-welded together and create a structure of great rigidity and immunity to unwanted vibrations.

The MC A90 moving coil phono cartridge was designed concurrently with the SPU 90th Anniversary cartridge. The SLM manufacturing technique was applied for manufacturing of MC A90.

In the November 2009 issue of Stereophile, Michael Fremer recalled the first time he had seen a demonstration of the damping characteristics of the SLM manufacturing:

“After letting me marvel at and handle the gleaming aluminum shape of the MC A90, Leif Johannsen (Ortofon CO of Acoustics and Technology) took me to a secluded area of the hall where the flooring was made of hard linoleum. He held the body out in front of him and let it drop. With a ping, it bounced about two feet up in the air. Then he took a second cartridge body out of his pocket. This one was layered like a cross section of stratified rock, but more neatly and uniformly. From chest height, he dropped the second body. Instead of bouncing with a distinct ping, it hit the floor with a nonresonant tick and stopped dead, without bouncing back so much an inch. Now that was major.”

In 2011 Ortofon presents the new Xpression cartridge which is a continuation of the new paradigm in engineering and manufacturing introduced by the MC A90. Because total freedom from resonance in the audible frequency range is a precondition for optimal sound quality, the design of the Xpression has been dictated by the complete elimination of unwanted resonance. Selective Laser Melting manufacturing technique is naturally applied to the new Ortofon Xpression cartridge.

We preserve our heritage by continuously investing in technology and product development and thus introducing new cartridges.

Source Ortofon,The Selective Laser Melting technique

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