The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology (Fraunhofer IWS) is experimenting with a new, high-powered metal 3D printing technology. Based on a technology called coherent beam combining (CBC), the institute’s dynamic beam shaping process can deliver varying levels of energy across a build area at once.
Fraunhofer IWS is now the first research facility globally to install a 13kW “Dynamic Beam Laser” from Israeli firm Civan Laser. The device is capable of delivering a variety of energy distribution patterns quickly by joining together multiple individual beams into a single ray of energy. Due to the phase shifts of the separate beams, it can create different patterns—such as a horseshoe, a figure eight, or a ring—with different energy intensities across the shape.
While such techniques are possible with mirrors and other optics, oscillating mirrors require time to align energy patterns. Civan’s laser, however, can achieve this feat in just microseconds, making it a thousand times more rapid than an oscillating mirror setup.
As a part of Europe’s ShapeAM project, Fraunhofer IWS will work with Civan Lasers and A. Kotliar Laser Welding Solutions to explore how the technology can be applied to 3D printing. This includes the production of titanium and aluminum items for space, medical implants, and lightweight parts for mobility. Dynamic beam shaping is believed to produce higher quality parts through the elimination of defects.
“This laser will push the limits of materials processing, for example in medical technology and aerospace,” said Dr Andreas Wetzig, head of the cutting and joining program at Fraunhofer IWS.
“We plan to use novel beam shapes and control frequencies that are not achievable with other methods to overcome challenges in crack-sensitive materials,” said Dr. Elena Lopez, head of additive manufacturing at Fraunhofer IWS.
The team will set about testing a variety of materials and beam profiles before exploring such applications as how to 3D print, cut, or combine workpieces made from difficult-to-work-with materials and composites. It is believed that the technology will offer faster and finer control over the melt pool to produce parts and cuts without burrs twice as fast as traditional fiber lasers.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs, February 17, 2024: Shot Blasting, Service Bureaus, & More
In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting out with post-processing, as SKZ Würzburg is using a shot blast system from AM Solutions for its research. Moving on to business,...
MIT Researchers Use AI to Optimize Stiffness and Toughness Balance in 3D Printed Parts
In January, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) published a study in the journal Science Advances, which details an algorithm they...
Northrop Grumman Taps GKN Aerospace for 3D Printed Solid Rocket Motors
At the beginning of January, UK aerospace manufacturer GKN Aerospace announced it was investing over $60 million to boost its additive manufacturing (AM) capacity in Trollhättan, Sweden. Now, GKN is...
3D Printing News Unpeeled: 3D Printed Golf Clubs, an India Made SLS Printer, MIT Liquid Metal and a Vietnamese Trauma Implant
After Cobra’s King putters, the firm now has a line of 8 clubs that use MJF binder jet. The Agera and others have different sized insets and cost $349. The...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.