Additive Manufacturing Strategies

LASEA & Aerosint to Develop L-PBF Technology With In Situ Laser Ablation

ST Medical Devices

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High-powered collaborations are in the works everywhere lately, including Belgium, as LASEA and Aerosint launch a funded development project for a hybrid L-PBF technology with in situ laser ablation and selective powder deposition. With this project, Aerosint foresees the potential for LASEA to become a ‘new entrant’ in the OEM space of additive manufacturing.

The regional government of Wallonia is behind the research grant, recently awarded to LASEA as they have continued to specialize in precision laser micromachining systems, and to Aerosint for furthered research and development of AM powders.

The project has now received funds of nearly €1 million, and the project for building the hybrid system is expected to span two years, with each company bringing their specific skill sets to the process as LASEA manages powder melting and ablation, and Aerosint investigates powder handling and deposition control of metal powders in relation to the joint project.

Applications to benefit from this project follow the typical LASEA target markets such as:

  • Watches
  • Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Medical devices

Previously, there have been great challenges with both surface quality of parts, and dimensional tolerances too.

“We always seek synergies with other companies in our market niches and we are convinced that the collaboration with Aerosint will be pleasant and fruitful. At LASEA, we have been developing subtractive laser systems for many years for applications such as cutting, drilling, engraving, marking… based on ablation with ultrashort pulse lasers, a technology in great expansion and for which the advantages have been demonstrated over the past decades,” said Axel Kupisiewicz, Founder and CEO of LASEA.

“At the same time, we are seeing attraction around laser additive manufacturing. As a laser integrator, we are seeing this as an opportunity to enter this domain in an innovative way. Thanks to the collaboration with Aerosint and its innovative powder management system, we are convinced that their approach combined with LASEA knowhow on ultrafast laser micromachining will lead us to promising results,” continued Kupisiewicz.

Additive manufacturing offers many benefits over traditional practices, and for this project, unique powder handling due to Aerosint’s powder recoater allows for greater flexibility in materials, localized deposition, and the option to print parts made from multiple metals.

It is expected that the new systems developed during this project will be made available commercially later.

“LASEA is a company we look up to in the Liège area. They have been extremely successful in the last couple of years showing double-digit growth year after year. Working on such an innovative process with LASEA is in line with our strategy to demonstrate how selective powder deposition can unlock a range of unique use cases in AM and beyond,” said Matthias Hick, co-founder and CTO. “We look forward to supporting LASEA in this project which we are convinced will yield very interesting results.”

Metal 3D printing continues to expand within the 3D printing world—and mainly among industrial users, from developments in engine technology to 3D printing with metal in space, and even super alloys for extreme environments.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Aerosint]

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