Additive Manufacturing

Here you will find videos from the research area additive manufacturing.

Effective brake disc protection with EHLA

With "Extreme High-speed Laser Material Deposition EHLA", metal components can be coated economically and environmentally friendly. A cooperation in Aachen is further developing the additive process for the coating of brake discs for automobiles: Experts from HD – Special Optics for Laser Technology are improving the powder supply and scientists from Fraunhofer ILT are optimizing the process control. The video shows an EHLA coating process with the new HighNo powder nozzle from HD.

The EHLA process is a joint development of Fraunhofer ILT and the Chair for Digital Additive Production DAP at RWTH Aachen University. 

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Cost-efficient 3D printing with wire LMD

Complex metal components can be produced flexibly and cost-efficiently with the additive wire laser material deposition (wire LMD). Scientists from Fraunhofer ILT have developed a new processing head for coaxial wire LMD that allows almost 100 percent utilization of the feed material. The process provides not only cost savings but is also dust-free and offers a higher environmental and machine user protection compared to powder-based processes. The video shows the functional principle of the new optics and its use in wire LMD.

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:

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