Additive Manufacturing Lasered aluminium could supplant machined car parts
Fraunhofer ILT and Concept Laser have developed a laser fusing machine to make large parts for the automotive industry, and aluminium is only the first of a range of metals to be used.
Additive manufacturing with metals is becoming increasingly important in the automotive industry. Demands for reducing time and cost of production have been making this type of generative technology more attractive to carmakers, according to equipment supplier Concept Laser GmbH, Lichtenfels, Germany. Currently, the primary focus is on aluminium alloys that provide the basis for lightweight automobile construction.
Developers partner with global carmaking giant
For applications involving vehicle and engine technology, as well as other areas, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG has been embracing the resource-efficient, generative process of laser melting of metals, the machine supplier said. In order to meet future demands, the global vehicle powerhouse relied on the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), Aachen, Germany, and Concept Laser to develop a laser melting machine with a build chamber size said to surpass anything constructed to date with an area large enough for an engine block.