Fiber Laser Applications: #4 Additive Manufacturing

Here at SPI Lasers we specialise in the manufacture of market-leading Fiber Lasers that are extremely versatile. Whether you require a solution that offers a more profitable result to existing challenges with machinery or are looking to create a new project such as 3D Printing, our Fiber Lasers are able to adapt to a wide variety of applications.

Our Applications Insights and Postcards guide you through various applications which our Fiber Lasers are capable of producing, Additive Manufacturing being one key application of our CW lasers.

This month we focus on Additive Manufacturing, and in this article, we reveal more about this increasingly popular application and how it is being used across the globe.

We also suggest why our Fiber Lasers are able provide a practical, yet cost-effective solution for Additive Manufacture.

To read any of our Additive Manufacturing posts, click here.

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Additive Manufacturing: An introduction

During this process 3D components are built layer by layer using metal powder additives, hence the term ‘Additive Manufacturing'(AM). Inability in the past to be precise while manufacturing these components resulted in merely using the technology to produce prototypes.

However, the technology used in Additive Manufacturing continues to evolve at an exponential rate. As a manufacturer of innovative, technology led fiber lasers our products are proving instrumental for many industries across the globe in honing their AM techniques.

Our Fiber Lasers are able to reduce the vast Industrial manufacturing challenges that Additive Manufacturing poses, providing fast, stable rise times and integral pulse shaping to increase accuracy.

Our CW Fiber Lasers offer end-users complete control over pulse settings so that the metal powders within a 3D printer can be melted at exactly the right rate to maximize production.

To discover more about using CW lasers for Additive Manufacturing visit our Applications page here.

How Additive Manufacturing Works

Thanks to CAD software and AM printing techniques, businesses now have a manufacturing solution that enables them to build complex 3D sculptures in a matter of hours instead of days / weeks.

Additive Manufacturing requires less intervention from machinists, and can create far more intricate and complex shapes, not only allowing for greater efficiency but also weight savings when compared to parts made via traditional machining methods. To learn more about the basics of how Additive Manufacturing Works, read our article here: ‘Additive Manufacturing; a definition’.

What are the advantages?

Our Fiber Lasers are proven to be exceptionally effective tools when using metal powders for Additive Manufacturing purposes, but AM isn’t just limited to metal powders; although not suitable for processing with a Fiber Laser there are many other types of material that lend themselves to AM.

For example, thermoplastics are often used by 3D printers, including ABS plastic and PVA. Additive Manufacturing is able to combine Thermoplastics with Carbon Fibers, hence the material is able to be strengthened without adding to the weight.

There are a whole range of materials and substances (chocolate included!) that are also able to benefit from this process. Read our article on ‘Additive Manufacturing Materials‘ to gain a greater insight into the possibilities.

Secondly, AM has created a far more economical solution to building 3D models as opposed to previous methods. By reducing the substrates, this provides an eco-friendly way of manufacturing three dimensional objects.

Thirdly, Additive Manufacturing has become less dependent on human interpretation and more on the precise data of CAD drawings. Our high-quality CW fiber lasers can be integrated into machines to enable an uninterrupted, precise process to take place.

Finally, this method proves cost-effective to manufacturers as there is less material waste, and reduced human intervention results in greater productivity.

Our CW lasers will help your business improve productivity and profitability when working with metal powders!

For more information on this, read our article on ‘Rapid Prototyping with a CW Laser‘ for further insight.

See our Infographic on Additive Manufacturing!

For a quick and easy overview of Additive Manufacturing, how it is revolutionizing industry, which industries are using it and for what, view our info graphic!

Visit our YouTube channel to view more of our latest videos on all laser processes that our Pulsed and CW Fiber Lasers are capable of completing.

 

Find out more!

Whitepapers

Our team of Fiber Laser experts has produced a number of whitepapers on the subject of Additive Manufacturing with Fiber Lasers. These technical papers focus on our CW Lasers ability to maintain  high output power during this key application.

To read our collection of technical whitepapers click on the links below:

Applications Insights

For more information on AM take a look at our collection of Application Insights giving an in depth overview of the topic written by experts in the field, articles include;

Catch up on past months of applications

Missed last months applications content from SPI Lasers? Don’t worry, you can find all our previous content in the links below so you can catch up on all the content provided so far…anytime!

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