The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and Fachhochschule Aachen’s GoetheLab have made a collaborative effort to launch the SLM 3D printer. This printer will be showcased in the 2016 Tradeshow in Frankfurt, Germany. Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology is a renowned research institute, and GoetheLab, is a branch of FH Aachen University. This printer has been launched in a move to attract small and medium businesses.
The printer comes with added offers and advantages. The printer will be available at a low cost and the companies will offer training sessions and support for using the printer. With this printer, small industries will turn more inclined towards using the 3D printer.
The 3D SLM printer will feature a 140 W diode laser with a focus diameter of 250 microns, using a Cartesian system, which will produce metal components measuring 90 mm tall, and a diameter of 80 mm. The machine will cover a floor area of 1.3 x 0.8 x 1.4 m. Fraunhofer ILT project engineer Dawid Ziebura stated that while such printers are priced around €100,000, the Fraunhofer ILT / FH Aachen 3D printer will be priced at €30,000. And as Ziebura states, it could be the entry of low-cost manufacturing into metal 3D printing.
The machine will produce parts for use as prototypes or for end-use. The printing speed and quality will be adjusted as per the production part. The special optimization features facilitate the speedy and low-cost printing of parts. To reduce material usage, the low-stress regions of the product can be filled with lattice structures of low density and high strength. This reduction in density will reduce production time by 60%. With this printer, a medium size object of 55cm with density of 99.5% can be built in 12 hours.