Oct 28, 2016 | By Benedict

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and Fachhochschule Aachen’s GoetheLab will showcase a new 3D printer at next month’s formnext 2016 trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. The collaboratively made selective laser melting (SLM) machine will cost around €30,000 ($36,000).

In an effort to appeal to small and medium-size businesses that could benefit from metal 3D printing, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, a renowned research institute, and GoetheLab, a division of FH Aachen university, have joined forces to launch a new 3D printer. The forthcoming SLM machine will be available for a low price, while Fraunhofer ILT and FH Aachen will also offer a comprehensive services package that includes support and training throughout all stages of the 3D printing process. The two parties believe that this cooperation will help to make the transition to additive manufacturing as smooth as possible for SMEs.

The 3D printer that will be showcased at formnext will feature a 140 W diode laser with a focus diameter of 250 microns, will use a Cartesian system, and will be able to produce metal components measuring 90 mm tall, with a maximum diameter of 80 mm. The machine will require floorspace of 1.3 x 0.8 x 1.4 m. Fraunhofer ILT project engineer Dawid Ziebura notes that companies would usually have to pay around €100,000 for such a machine, but the Fraunhofer ILT / FH Aachen 3D printer will retail for around €30,000. “The low-cost system facilitates entry into metal 3D printing,” Ziebura commented.

According to the engineers behind the new SLM 3D printer, parts made on the machine could be suitable as either prototypes or end-use parts. Depending on how the part in question will be used, users can adjust the printing speed and quality. A medium-sized (55 cm) stainless steel component with a density of over 99.5% can be built within 12 hours, but the machine can also help users save time and material with special material optimization features.

In order to reduce material usage (and consequently time and cost), the SLM 3D printing system gives the option of automatically filling in low-stress regions of a printed part with lattice structures, 3D patterns with a low density but high strength. By reducing the density of a part to around 20%, printing time can be shortened by around 60%.

In the near future, Fraunhofer ILT and FH Aachen will attempt to reduce printing time further and optimize light exposure to enhance the quality of printed parts. The organizations will also introduce the capacity to print with aluminum alloys and steels.



Posted in 3D Printer



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive