GE Taps NUBURU for Blue Laser Metal 3D Printing

Formnext Germany

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Since it first entered the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, blue laser manufacturer NUBURU (NYSE American: BURU) has made steady progress introducing its technology to various original equipment manufacturers. The latest is GE Additive, which signed a joint technology agreement with the company to research the speed, accuracy, and commercial benefits of metal 3D printing with blue lasers.

“As we continue to advance our proprietary blue laser technology, we have further increased both power and brightness to open up new applications,” said Dr. Mark Zediker, CEO and co-founder of NUBURU. “We’ve achieved key performance milestones that open new possibilities for significant advances in metal 3D printing. Working with GE Additive, and their expertise in metal additive manufacturing, will allow us to rapidly optimize our innovative area printing approach. That will accelerate the further expansion of our pioneering blue laser into innovative metal 3D printing solutions which have the potential to change the landscape of military logistics; aerospace manufacturing; medical device fabrication, and beyond.”

“As an industry leader in metal 3D printing and having been on the leading edge of qualifying parts in regulated industries, we’re excited to evaluate NUBURU blue industrial laser technology and its benefits,” said Chris Schuppe, General Manager, Engineering & Technology of GE Additive.

NUBURU argues that is blue light technology, which combines a blue laser module with an optical condition system, offers greater efficiency for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) as metals are able to absorb the energy more quickly, with less loss. Moreover, the use of blue light opens up possible metals that can be 3D printed more easily than with traditional lasers, including copper.

GE Additive is already supporting NUBURU’s previously announced AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract awarded in 2022. With this latest development, the company will provide NUBURU with a PBF machine and the necessary expertise to integrate and characterize the light engine to quantify any performance improvements over existing processes.

This is yet another step forward for NUBURU as it enters into the AM sector. As part of the aforementioned AFWERX SBIR, the company has developed an area printing technique. Though not explicitly described as comparable to Seurat’s proprietary process, it is said to potentially scale to 100 times the speed of traditional PBF systems. The first machine in this project was provided to the Air Force in May. Additionally, NUBURU has delivered blue laser units to Texas-based Essentium, with whom it is developing a copper system for directed energy deposition (DED) metal 3D printing. It already created a DED process relying on blue lasers with Formalloy in 2017.

This flurry of news coincides with NUBURU’s first quarter as a publicly traded company after it merged with SPAC vehicle Tailwind Acquisition Corp. at the end of January 2023. The blue laser expert is a penny stock trading on the NYSE American under the ticker “BURU.” Its Q1 filings report a whopping quadrupling of revenues ($0.5 million) from the previous year ($0.1 million), though it still operates at a loss of $0.7 million.

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