Applications

Lasers return from International Space Station

Fibre-coupled laser diodes manufactured by Seminex have returned from a successfully completed mission to the International Space Station. Two Seminex 4-pin lasers were used in lidar systems for navigation and range finding.

The company said in a press release that its lasers were chosen for their rugged design and established long term reliability. Seminex’s 1,550nm 4-pin lasers were chosen due to the eye safety requirements of the mission.

Laser marking improves MCCBs authentication

Power management company Eaton announced at the end of September that new laser-etched labels will be featured on its moulded case circuit breakers (MCCBs) to help in product authentication.

The laser-marking method is said to provide more permanent markings, helping to authenticate each circuit breaker throughout its life cycle. These permanent markings require more sophisticated technology to manufacture and are designed to prevent removal and replacement from the product, helping consumers recognise products that have experienced reconditioning.

Driving additive manufacturing

The worldÔÇÖs first car produced by additive manufacturing is to be driven away from the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014. With the first drive set to take place on 13 September at McCormick Place in Chicago, Local Motors, who are behind the project, will have spent six days printing and assembling the vehicle, called the Strati.

Maersk looks into on-ship 3D printing for tanker repair

The shipping company Maersk has started looking into using additive manufacturing to replace faulty parts onboard its tankers.

The speed of production, readiness of a specific part and the reduction in cost of getting a replacement to tankers positioned all over the world have all played a part in the company's increased interest in 3D printing. While cost could still be prohibitive for metal parts - as the 3D printing machines are still far more expensive - the company and its partners have indicated they see the technology as nearly ready.

More efficient jet engines produced by additive manufacturing

Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) and for Production Technology (IPT) have jointly developed new process chains for producing jet engine components that allows for more design freedom as well as more efficient and cost effective production and repair processes. The processes, demonstrated recently at the ILA Berlin Air Show in May, use Selective Laser Manufacturing (SLM) and Laser Material Deposition (LMD) to build components layer by layer, reducing waste and allowing for the construction of more complex geometries.

Combining lasers with plasma for better glass processing

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST) in Germany have developed a technique to embed microstructures on glass more efficiently. The new approach involves combining a laser with a plasma beam, which initial results have demonstrated could make production processes more precise and economical.

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