Video and Audio Data of the Fraunhofer ILT

On this website you will find videos from different technology fields of the Fraunhofer ILT.

Scalable Machine Concept for Laser Powder Bed Fusion

Scientists from Fraunhofer ILT have developed a scalable machine concept for LPBF of large metal components.

All Videos on German Website

All films & audio data of the Fraunhofer ILT can be found on the German website.

Fraunhofer ILT / Photonics Cluster / Centers

70 Years of Fraunhofer. 70 Years of Future. What's next?


Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project Go Beyond 4.0 - 
Digital Manufacturing revolutionizes Mass Production

Innovating Mass Production by Digital Print and Laser Technologies

The lighthouse project Go Beyond 4.0 pursues the objective to provide new technologies for the mass production of individualized products. Specifically, this means the integration of digital printing and laser technologies into industry 4.0 production environments which are currently installed.

To meet these objectives, excellent expertises of six leading Fraunhofer Institutes are teamed up. The team consists of Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz (project leader), Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Bremen, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Dresden and Chemnitz, tapping on additional competences of several Fraunhofer Groups: Microelectronics, Production, MATERIALS and Light & Surfaces.

Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis 2018
for the EHLA Team

On the occasion of the award ceremony for the Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis on September 21, 2018, the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung presented an image film portraying the scientists Dr. Andres Gasser, Thomas Schopphoven and Gerhard Maria Backes. Also the Extreme High-Speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA) process is presented in the video.

Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Production

With its partner institutes active in various fields of lightweight production technology (750 scientists and 1,100 graduate assistants) on the RWTH Aachen Campus, AZL regroups all the required know-how to help the composites industry develop tomorrow’s lightweight production technology. The institutes’ knowledge covers the fields of textiles (ITA), plastics and composite materials (IKV), production technology (WZL, ISF, Fraunhofer IPT and Fraunhofer ILT), quality assurance and production-integrated measurement technology (WZL), lightweight design (SLA) and automotive production (IKA).

Ablation and Joining

CarboLase – Photonics meets textile engineering

Carbon fibre-reinforced (CFRP) components are normally assembled by fasteners that are glued into the cured and drilled CFRP component. The integration of the fasteners into a textile preform and an additional curing process to produce the final CFRP component can shorten production process chains. This requires high-precision cut-outs in the textile for the fasteners. In the NRW-based project CarboLase, funded by OP.EFRE, laser material processing is integrated for the first time into an automated preforming process. A novelty in the process is the use of the material-friendly ultrashort pulsed laser, which processes the textiles without damaging them thermally. By combining the technologies in a flexible robot cell, just-in-time production of CFRP components with integrated fasteners is now possible independent of component geometry and batch size.

Technology Demonstrator Polymer Processing

With the demonstrator the various applications of laser technology in the processing of plastics can be demonstrated:

  • Cutting of PMMA in different material thicknesses (0.3, 1 & 2 mm) with a CO2 laser
  • Removal of PMMA in the form of microfluidic structures with a CO2 laser
  • Absorber-free laser transmission welding of PMMA with diode laser radiation (λ=1660 nm)
  • Laser microstructuring of stainless steel (1.4301) with fiber laser radiation (λ=1064 nm)
  • Joining of a plastic-metal hybrid connection with diode laser radiation (λ=940 nm)

All laser-based processes are characterized by a high degree of flexibility, an energy deposition that can be precisely adjusted in terms of location and time, and a high degree of automation.

Cutting of Thermoplastic Composites

Fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP), the use of which is becoming increasingly widespread due to their great lightweight construction potential, generate high tool wear during mechanical processing by milling or drilling, which is avoided by non-contact laser cutting. The cut 1 mm thick composite material is made of polypropylene, which is also reinforced with glass fibres.

Quasi-Simultaneous Irradiation during Laser Transmission Welding of Absorber-Free Plastics

The challenge in laser transmission welding of two optically identical plastic parts lies in the selective heating of the joining area in order to avoid component distortion and burns on the irradiated surface. As a rule, a highly focusing fixed optic is used for this, which, however, can only be guided over the component with contour accuracy up to a certain speed due to inertia. Scanners offer higher dynamics, however, with which the beam cannot be focused sufficiently strongly. This restriction can be overcome by irradiating the welding contour quasi-simultaneously and thus achieving selective heating of the joining area by heat accumulation.

Strategies for Drilling with Laser Beams

Depending on the component thickness and the required quality (precision) and productivity (drilling time), holes with diameters from 1 µm up to several millimeters can be achieved by using single-pulse drilling, percussion drilling, trepanning or helical drilling. The single pulse drilling can be performed "on-the-fly", so that up to 300 holes per second with a diameter of e.g. 60 microns in 1 mm thick material can be achieved. Larger hole depths can be achieved by using percussion drilling. For hole diameters larger than 300 microns, trepanning is used where a relative movement between the workpiece and laser radiation occurs. Holes with high precision concerning geometry and high metallurgical quality are achieved by using helical drilling.

Laser-Beam Drilling of a Jet-Engine Nozzle

Approximately 74,000 holes with a diameter of 1.5 mm shall be drilled into the primary nozzle of a jet engine by using laser radiation. The drilling technique trepanning is used. The nozzle has a diameter of about 900 mm and a length of about 350 mm. The holes will be drilled distributed into 2048 rows, each with 36 holes around the circumference of the nozzle. The nozzle with a material thickness of 1.5 mm is made of titanium alloy Ti 6-2-4-2.

ultraSURFACE – first application tests for laser structuring with the developed MultiBeam optics

Funded by the European Union, the ultraSURFACE project focuses on optimizing optical systems with dynamic 3D applicability and on developing strategies for laser-based production processes with high-throughput. In the project, Scientists and industry partners are developing two new optical designs which allow users to adapt laser beam manipulation individually and to increase throughput by a factor of ten compared to conventional processes. The video shows first application tests for laser structuring with the developed MultiBeam optics, which were integrated into a machine tool at Unitechnologies.

Laser Ablation of an Arbitrary Geometry on ZERODUR®

With pulsed CO2 laser radiation (Q-Switch), ZERODUR®, a glass ceramic material, can be precisely processed. The material removal in the example shown was realized with the following parameters:

  • Repetition rate ≤ 150 kHz
  • Pulse peak power about 20 kW
  • Pulse duration about 300 ns

Laser ablation and laser polishing of glass offers flexible and cost-effective alternatives to conventional manufacturing processes. Laser-based ablation processes can be used both for shaping and for shape correction polishing (Laser Beam Figuring).

Diameter of the machined geometry: 50 mm

Laser Ablation of an Arbitrary Geometry on Fused Silica

When fused silica is processed with CO2 laser radiation, the laser radiation is absorbed in a thin surface layer of the workpiece so that the temperatures can be raised up to the material’s evaporation temperature. If the fused silica is heated locally by the interaction with the laser radiation above the evaporation temperature, material can be ablated. Pulsed CO2 laser radiation (Q-switch) with these parameters was used for the laser process shown in the video:

  • Repetition rate ≤ 150 kHz
  • Pulse peak power about 20 kW
  • Pulse duration about 300 ns
  • 0.1 to 50 µm ablation depth per layer
  • 1 to 3 mm3/s Ablation rate

Sample size: 20 mm x 20 mm x 5 mm

Laser Ablation of a Lens Array on Fused Silica

With the laser process shown in the video an arrangement of defined lens geometries on fused silica was generated. The material was ablated with pulsed CO2 laser radiation (Q-switch) and these parameters:

  • Repetition rate ≤ 150 kHz
  • Pulse peak power about 20 kW
  • Pulse duration about 300 ns
  • 0.1 to 50 µm ablation depth per layer
  • 1 to 3 mm3/s Ablation rate

Laser ablation offers the advantage of contactless processing. High costs for grinding tools are therefore avoided by an almost wear-free tool during laser ablation. Local ablation can generate not only free-form surfaces but also steep flanks for structuring the back of optics, for example to reduce weight.

Sample size: 90 mm x 90 mm x 4 mm

Additive Manufacturing

Multi-Scanner On-the-fly Processing for Laser Powder Bed Fusion

In the scope of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project futureAM, scientists from Fraunhofer ILT have developed an enhanced processing strategy for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF). A multi-scanner processing head with five laser-scanner-systems was integrated into Fraunhofer ILT’s prototype LPBF machine with a maximum build envelope of 1000 mm x 800 mm x 500 mm. In order to increase the system’s productivity, a synchronized movement of the galvanometer scanners and the linear axis system was realized enabling on-the-fly processing.

Additive Manufacturing with Wire Laser Material Deposition

Laser-based additive manufacturing of a compressor blade contour. The Inconel 718 material is applied to the component by wire laser material deposition – the individual layers are dense, crack-free and of high quality. Even complex geometries can be produced additively in this way.

Scalable Machine Concept for Laser Powder Bed Fusion

In the strategic lighthouse project futureAM, the five Fraunhofer Institutes ILT, IFAM, IGD, IWS and IWU, as well as the Fraunhofer Research Institution IAPT, are systematically further developing metal additive manufacturing. Scientists from Fraunhofer ILT have now developed a scalable machine concept for the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) of large metal components. A new mobile processing laser head is used in this system, which also offers a very large, effectively usable build volume (1,000 mm x 800 mm x 500 mm). Thus, productivity can be increased by a factor of 10 compared to conventional LPBF systems. The video shows excerpts from an AM process in the new system.

Laser Powder Bed Fusion of Copper Materials with Green Laser

At formnext 2018, the Fraunhofer ILT presented a new development for laser powder bed fusion of copper materials. Using the powder bed-based process and green laser radiation, components can be produced with additives that exhibit the special material properties of pure copper and, in particular, the same high conductivity as the starting material.

The Aachen scientists are also developing the corresponding plant technology and process control in this project, which is sponsored by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen AiF "Otto von Guericke" e.V. and the Deutscher Verband für Schweißen und artverwandte Verfahren DVS e.V.

Extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition: A way out of the chromium ban

Components are protected against corrosion and wear through hard chrome plating, thermal spraying, laser material deposition or other deposition welding techniques. However, there are downsides to these processes – for example, as since September 2017, chromium(VI) coatings require authorization. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen as well as the RWTH Aachen University have developed an ultra-high-speed laser material deposition process, known by its German acronym EHLA, to eliminate these drawbacks. EHLA does not contain the environmentally harmful chromium(VI). With the developed process, components can be coated, repaired or additively manufactured in a particularly economical and environmentally friendly manner.  

Dr. Andres Gasser and Thomas Schopphoven from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and their colleague Gerhard Backes from the Chair for Digital Additive Production of the RWTH Aachen University have developed the EHLA process and were therfore honored with the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2017.

New CAM system for efficient laser material deposition

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has developed an offline programming system for laser material deposition. The LMD Cam3D program enables process developers and end‐users to generate tool paths quickly, even for complex LMD tasks that have non‐standard welding strategies. The generated paths are translated into machine code, and can be tested for possible collisions via a machine simulation. LMD Cam3D will be presented for the first time at the EuroMold from November 27 ‐ 30, 2012 in Frankfurt at the Fraunhofer joint booth, hall 11‐ C66a.

3D-component without support structures, manufactured with Laser Metal Deposition (LMD)

In this demonstration, laser cladding, also known as Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), is used to additively manufacture a three-dimensional part without support structures. Off-line programming is used to generate the program for the robot system at Fraunhofer ILT. Inconel 625, a nickel-based super-alloy, is used as additive material. This material is often used in the turbine and chemical sector. A continuous coaxial powder nozzle from Fraunhofer ILT is used. Total process time is 23 minutes. For further information please visit our website:

Measurement Technology

EU Project ADIR – Demonstration for Automated Disassembly and Sorting of Valuable Materials

This is the worldwide first machine demonstration for the automated disassembly and sorting of valuable materials from electronic equipment.

The video provides information about the European ADIR project and the demonstrator developed within the ADIR project referring to the status of August 2018. The demonstrator consists of a series of interlinked machines for the treatment of end-of-life printed circuit boards of servers or computers, and the treatment of end-of-life mobile phones. These machines carry out the following actions using robotics and laser technology:

  • singuralise and manipulate objects,
  • disassemble these objects,
  • perform measurements to locate and to chemically identify valuable electronic components,
  • unsolder or cut out these components,
  • and finally sort the extracted parts to sorting fractions with high contents of valuable materials.

«ADIR Project Website»

Usage Rights/Disclaimer

Medical Technology

Artificial Vascular Systems - ArtiVasc 3D - on the way to bio-artificial tissue

Usage Rights/Disclaimer

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