Fraunhofer ILT – A Reliable Partner for Research and Development in Your Branch

Thanks to its particularly high power, precision and flexibility, the tool »laser« makes a great deal of applications possible in many branches of the manufacturing industry. Whether for the machine building industry, precision engineering, electronics, the plastics industry or the metalworking industry, Fraunhofer ILT develops sophisticated production processes, high-performance laser systems and optimized beam sources for tasks tailored to a customer’s specific needs.

Laser-beam sources with specifically optimized properties – such as wavelength, beam shape and density, pulse shape and duration or power – open up a broad spectrum of applications. Ultrashort pulse lasers are suitable, for example, for high-precision surface structuring down to the subnanometer range, solid-state lasers or diode lasers with high output in the kW range for laser-based cutting applications or EUV beam sources for precise analysis and lithography applications.

The spectrum of laser processes developed at the Fraunhofer ILT is wide-ranging. These include, among others, cutting and joining processes, micro- and nano-ablation, polishing, drilling, internal engraving, micro-soldering, micro-welding, laser-based hybrid processes, hardening, alloying, structuring or additive manufacturing. In addition to process development, the Fraunhofer laser experts also attend to modeling and simulation, control technology, sensor-based process monitoring and control as well as the conception and development of prototypes and pilot plants.

In measurement technology, Fraunhofer ILT offers solutions to problems in industry, bioanalytics and environmental technology. Inline measurements of physical and chemical parameters allow efficient process control in production. Within a short time, the laser can identify the materials of a component. This way, materials or raw materials can be reliably characterized, sorted or recovered. In bioanalysis, laser spectroscopic methods can be used to obtain, for example, molecule-specific information in high throughput.


Manufacturing economically, environmentally friendly and quickly with EHLA#

Extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition EHLA.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition EHLA.

To protect large components against wear and corrosion, metallic coatings are commonly used, e.g. for components in the oil and gas industry or rollers in the chemical and paper industries. Existing processes are slow and clearly harmful to the environment due to the use of chromium (VI); moreover, the applied layers, in the millimeter range, are too thick. Scientists at Fraunhofer ILT and RWTH Aachen University are researching the so-called EHLA process (extreme high-speed laser material deposition), with which thin metal coatings can be applied by lasers economically, environmentally friendly and extremely fast.

The process can produce high-quality layers having thicknesses of 25 to 350 μm, with approximately 80 to 90 percent of the material used coating the component. Customized powder-feed nozzles, optical measurement technology, automated path planning and process monitoring all make it possible to apply coatings 10 to 100 times faster compared to techniques using hard chrome plating, thermal spraying or conventional laser cladding. The system technology developed at Fraunhofer ILT and RWTH can be used flexibly and is also suitable for repairs and additive manufacturing.

For the development of the patented process, the Aachen research team was honored with the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize on May 30, 2017. More information can be found here.

»TwoCure« - flexible photopolymer 3D printing without support structures#

By melting at room temperature, the additively manufactured plastic components are released from the frozen blocks.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
By melting at room temperature, the additively manufactured plastic components are released from the frozen blocks.

Many additive manufacturing processes require supporting structures, which the user has to plan, build into the process and then laboriously remove from the product. Fraunhofer ILT and Rapid Shape GmbH have developed »TwoCure«, an innovative process for resin-based 3D printing. In this new hybrid technology, a liquid photopolymer solidifies chemically via light and thermally via cold. The process works without supporting structures and is significantly more efficient and productive than conventional 3D printing techniques for plastic components. In addition, it allows a free positioning of the components in the installation space without connection to a platform. The first prototype has already been set up and will soon be further developed to series maturity. The new form of plastic 3D printing has already been successfully tested using models for the jewelry industry.



Projects with participation of the Fraunhofer ILT#

Strategic Fraunhofer Projects

A selection of strategic projects involving the Fraunhofer ILT can be found on our cluster website.

Current Collaborative Projects

Here you will find a selection of current collaborative projects in which Fraunhofer ILT is involved.

Completed Collaborative Projects

Here you will find a selection of completed collaborative projects in which Fraunhofer ILT is involved.

Annual Report

In our current annual report you will find a selection of further project results.


Dipl.-Ing. Hans-Dieter Hoffmann

“Lasers and Optics”


Telephone +49 241 8906-206
-> Send E-Mail


Prof. Arnold Gillner

“Ablation and Joining”


Telephone +49 241 8906-148
-> Send E-Mail

Dr. Jochen Stollenwerk

“Additive Manufacturing
and Functional Layers”


Telephone +49 241 8906-398
-> Send E-Mail

Dr. Achim Lenenbach

“Measurement Technology
and EUV Sources”


Telephone +49 241 8906-124
-> Send E-Mail