Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology showcases reduced cost Additive Manufacturing at laser show

July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology showcases reduced cost Additive Manufacturing at laser show

An AM system at work at the Aachen Center for 3D Printing, a cooperation between the Aachen University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer ILT (Courtesy Fraunhofer ILT)


Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen, Germany, has reported that it recently attended the LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017, June 26–29, Munich, Germany. The Institute showcased a wide range of technologies from the fields of applied laser technology and beam-source development, ranging from diode and fibre lasers to new measurement technology, and even laser systems for use in space. Among the offerings showcased was the institute’s new metal Additive Manufacturing machine.

While metal Additive Manufacturing is already used on an industrial scale and has made strides to penetrate the global market, the costs of machines and accompanying technologies can be prohibitively high for smaller enterprises. According to Fraunhofer ILT, many small companies have good ideas which could be achieved through AM, but are prevented from pursuing their goals by the cost. 

Fraunhofer ILT’s  metal Additive Manufacturing machine incorporates a four-axis system that can be used with various metal powders and includes, in addition to a 140 W diode laser, a shielding gas device and open-source control software. High levels of interest were reported at the show, with both small machine and tool builders asking about it as well as experienced users who wanted to qualify new materials using the low-cost system.

“We want to bring Additive Manufacturing to SMEs”, explained Professor Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum, Chair of the newly established Digital Additive Production DAP at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. “In addition to this, we can offer the necessary training.” A training seminar will be offered at Fraunhofer ILT, usually taking two to five days.

July 18, 2017

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

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