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3D printing with wire perfects laser cladding

The CoaxPrinter from Precitec GmbH represents a major step forward for industrial repair processes: The material-efficient solution fuses the wire homogenously from all directions.

22 Dec. 2017
Michael Triadan
Fraunhofer IPT
3D printing with wire perfects laser cladding (picture: Fraunhofer IPT)

The CoaxPrinter processing head presents a solution for laser cladding that, for the very first time, facilitates multidirectional processing of the additional filler material, wire. In comparison to the conventional use of powder, the solution offers advantages with regard to cost effectiveness, cleanliness, and sustainability when it comes to surface processing, parts repairs, and the actual 3D process. The EU research project "TopCladd – Adaptive Laser Cladding for Precise Metal Coating Based on Inline Topography Characterization", led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT and in which Gaggenau-based company Precitec is collaborating with Dinse and Quada V+F Laserschweißdraht GmbH , has also been focusing on such scenarios since September 1; the project also has three Belgian partners on board: Deltatec , GeonX , and LaserCo .

With the CoaxPrinter, the wire, based on the unique ring-shaped beam shape and coaxial feeding of the additional filler material, is fused homogeneously from all directions and connected with the component surface’s local melt pool. In comparison to fusing with powder, as has been the method to date, a very high material utilization is possible: The additional filler material is 100% introduced and processed. The CoaxPrinter opens up a whole host of fields of application, such as the repair of high-quality components that are subject to wear and the coating and generation of thin-walled 2.5D structures or high-volume superstructures.