A New Era in Additive Manufacturing: The Rise of Green and Blue Lasers
Additive manufacturing technology has always been a beacon of innovation, continuously evolving to meet the demands of modern industries, in many different fields. Traditional infrared lasers, which once dominated the field, have shown their limitations, especially when working with highly reflective materials such as pure copper, copper alloys, and precious metals like gold. These materials, with their inherent reflective properties, pose significant challenges when an infrared laser beam is used. Among the main problems of processing these materials with infrared lasers, there is above all an inefficient melting process, poor repeatability of the process, poor density of the finished components, and a high use of energy, which translates into high production costs.
The introduction of laser sources equipped with short wavelengths such as the green laser or the blue laser has proven to be an opportunity for the additive manufacturing community and, consequently, for all the industries that benefit from this technology. These lasers, with their distinct wavelengths, have demonstrated an exceptional ability to process materials that were previously considered challenging. Unlike their infrared counterparts, green and blue lasers have significantly higher absorption values when used for processing metals such as copper or gold, ensuring efficient and constant melting processes, with less power used. In this way it is possible to reduce the total costs of the entire process, thanks to less energy use and a decidedly higher quality of the finished product, which leads to less production waste.
Furthermore, the versatility of green and blue lasers has opened up new avenues in additive manufacturing. Industries that once struggled with material limitations are now exploring new frontiers, creating products that were previously deemed impossible. From aerospace components that require high thermal conductivity to intricate jewelry designs that demand precision and from electric motors and power electronics to heat exchangers and inductors, green and blue lasers are reshaping the additive manufacturing landscape.
Delving Deeper: The Unparalleled Capabilities of Green and Blue Lasers
Green lasers, with their 532 nm wavelength, have emerged as the preferred choice for industries that heavily rely on materials with exceptional thermal and electrical conductivity, such as copper alloys, with Powder Bed Fusion technology. The aerospace sector, for instance, requires components that can withstand extreme temperatures and pressures.
Traditional lasers often fell short of delivering the desired results. However, with green laser technology, industries can now achieve almost defect-free processing, leading to components that mirror the properties of cast materials. This has significant implications for sectors like automotive and power electronics, where efficiency and reliability are paramount.
Moreover, the advancements in Direct Energy Deposition technology, combined with the capabilities of blue lasers, have expanded the possibilities in additive manufacturing. Industries can now develop big components with outstanding mechanical properties, pushing the boundaries of design and functionality.
Blue lasers, while a more recent entrant, with their 445 nm wavelength have quickly established themselves as indispensable in the realm of additive manufacturing. Their precision, combined with their efficiency, makes them ideal for processing copper alloys with Direct Energy Deposition technology. The ability to choose from a range of laser powers, from 800 Watts to 4 kW, ensures that blue laser technology caters to a wide array of applications. Different lasers to effectively process different materials: thus, it is possible to enable multi-material applications, increasingly requested in the aerospace sector.
Prima Additive: Leading the Charge in Green and Blue Laser Technology
Prima Additive's legacy in the additive manufacturing domain is a testament to its unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence. As a specialized company of Prima Industrie, a group with a rich history spanning over four decades, Prima Additive has consistently been at the forefront of technological advancements in additive manufacturing.
Our desire is to always offer the best solution for every application and every production need. This is why our Powder Bed Fusion systems can be configured with infrared lasers, or green lasers in one, two, or four laser configurations. Furthermore, the innovative "Double Wavelength" option is available, unique on the market, which allows you to have an infrared laser and a green laser within the same system to process the entire spectrum of materials with a single machine.
As regards Direct Energy Deposition, it is possible to equip our systems with infrared or blue lasers. Also in this case, on the IANUS multi-process robotic cell it is possible to equip the machine with two different laser sources: one infrared and one blue. In this way it is possible to efficiently enable multi-material applications which include, for example: Inconel, processed with an infrared laser, and CuCrZr or other copper alloys, processed with a blue laser.
But Prima Additive's contribution to the additive manufacturing sector go beyond product offerings. Our research and development initiatives, collaborations with industry experts, and commitment to customer success have played a pivotal role in shaping the future of additive manufacturing. As the sector continues to evolve, we try to remain at the helm, guiding industries towards a brighter, more efficient future.
For businesses and individuals eager to explore the vast potential of additive manufacturing, even with non-conventional metal alloys, Prima Additive offers a partnership for the future. Our expertise, combined with a suite of cutting-edge solutions, ensures that innovation in Powder Bed Fusion and Direct Energy Deposition technologies with blue and green lasers is not just promising but is set to redefine industry standards.
Ready to elevate your additive manufacturing capabilities? Dive into the world of green and blue laser technologies with Prima Additive. Reach out today and be a part of the future!