The use of copper in Additive Manufacturing requires a special laser. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen has developed such a laser, and at the same time, has used it to design a complete system that can turn pure copper into workpieces.

The key challenge in Additive Manufacturing of copper is that, in the customary wave lengths of 1,000 nanometers, up to 93 percent is reflected – unlike for steels and alloys with titanium, aluminum, nickel, and cobalt.

A green laser, however, with a wavelength of 515 nanometers, is absorbed seven times better. Since such a beam source was nowhere to be found in the market, Fraunhofer ILT developed a fundamental mode laser that has a maximum output of 400 watts in continuous operation.

By the end of the year, Fraunhofer ILT intends to create a system prototype for »SLM in green« (selective laser melting in green), with which the process is to be further developed as part of a research project.



Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT at formnext 2017:

  • Hall 3.0 - Booth F50