Additive Manufacturing

Lasered aluminium could supplant machined car parts

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German government project spurs advances

The project partners got together as part of an aluminium generative research and development project in conjunction with the German Ministry of Education and Research. The machine maker said the Fraunhofer ILT, together with different partners from industry and Daimler, examined the laser fusing technology for production applications involving aluminium components. The industrial use for fabricating production components was previously restricted to smaller components or dental and medical technology, mainly as a result of the materials and costs. As part of the project, the application potential for manufacturing aluminium components for other areas of industry was also examined. The well-known characteristics of the production process include conservation of resources, independence from mould making and freedom of geometry as well as the speed of construction and development. Daimler appraised Fraunhofer ILT's work as a fundamentally new way of looking at manufacturing options with the aim of creating innovative and environmentally friendly products, Concept Laser said. From the point of view of the development partners, the groundwork is also said to have provided a solid basis for tackling the pressure of costs in production and safeguarding Germany's long-term future as a place for high-tech manufacturing.