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NLight and EOS to usher in ‘new era’ of AM lasers

Posted on 09 Jul 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 441 times.
NLight and EOS to usher in ‘new era’ of AM lasersNLight Inc (a global provider of high-power semiconductor and fiber lasers that is headquartered in Washington, the USA) and EOS (a global supplier of additive manufacturing technologies), have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to pursue a joint technology cooperation that will make NLight’s beam-shaping lasers available in EOS’s metal AM systems. The cooperation includes the implementation of a series of complementary laser-based technologies to ‘optimise the additive manufacturing (AM) light engine for robust industrial 3-D printing production’.

The companies plan to make beam shaping and light engine optimisation capabilities available digitally, thereby enabling customers to access different beam profiles via EOS software ‘to activate higher productivity printing’. AMCM, an EOS Group company focused on customised AM solutions, has already made NLight’s programmable AFX laser available in its metal AM systems. NLight and EOS say their LoI represents an evolution of this relationship.

The programmable AFX laser offers seven different beam profiles in a single laser, ranging from an 85µm spot size for maximum precision contours, to a 210µm ring profile for faster printing, improved process stability and reduced soot and spatter. NLight says its AFX lasers deliver printing speeds up to three-times faster for 316L steel and aluminium compared to a standard 400W process.

Marie Langer, CEO of EOS, said: “We are always researching industry-leading technologies to advance the industrialisation of AM to meet the emerging application demands and exceed customer expectations. The flexibility and performance gains of NLight’s beam-shaping and laser technologies gives us an unprecedented advancement in metal AM systems and will allow our customers to unleash a new level of productivity.”

The two companies say they plan to make AFX-enabled machines available to customers in late 2024.