Under the slogan "Light for Change", the United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the "International Year of Light". This year commemorates the importance of light as a fundamental prerequisite for life and thus a central component of science and culture.
Within this, optical technologies play a key role. In the automobile and aircraft construction, laser technology is increasingly being used in lightweight construction to improve welds, increase processing speeds and reduce material usage.
To underscore the importance of light as a tool to enable economical and environmentally friendly production, Fraunhofer ILT has created a special exhibit piece. It consists of a man-sized solid block of letters – "LIGHT" – with a complexly shaped airy lattice structure inside the component.
On the one hand, the term "LIGHT" makes reference to LIGHT – and thus to optical technologies. On the other hand, it refers to LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION, which is symbolized by 3D printing with additive laser manufacturing. As with this special exhibit piece produced by 3D printing of plastic, Fraunhofer ILT develops and manufactures, along with its industrial customers, metallic components that are weight-reduced through a hollow inner structure. Even customized and individual components and tools can be manufactured by 3D printing at economically feasible costs.