Additive Manufacturing

Fraunhofer-Verbund Light & Surfaces + Additive manufacturing systems, 3D printers with selective laser melting, SLM for metals | Laser technology in production technology | Research to laser technology


The member institutes of the Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces are actively involved in the development of process technology and machine designs for additive manufacturing. Powder-bed processes such as selective laser melting (SLM) are the process of choice for producing components with the highest possible degree of geometric freedom. The range of materials that can be used with this process includes steel, nickel and cobalt alloys, titanium lightweight materials, carbide metals and ceramics. In the case of electron beam melting (EBM), an electron beam is used in place of a laser beam to process the ceramic or metallic powder bed. Laser metal deposition (LMD), in contrast, employs powdered additives. As regards thin-film printing, the Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces is concentrating its efforts on developing paste- and ink-based processes that allow for 3D multimaterial printing and polymer composite structures. It is also pursuing new polymer-based additive techniques such as stereolithography, multiphoton lithography and digital light processing, which are particularly suitable for printing polymer microstructures and for actuating materials. Laser sintering is also used in addition to pure melting techniques.


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