The managing directors of one of the world’s largest laser technology manufacturers visited Empa in Thun recently. Flame Chen, General Manager of the Han’s Laser Smart Equipment Group from Shenzen, was informed about current research projects by Empa researcher Patrik Hoffmann.
The focus of the visit of the Chinese entrepreneurs was the "Powder-Feed 3D Printing Technology" (also called "Laser Deposition Welding) which is being researched at Hoffmann’s Laboratory for "Advanced Materials Processing". In laser deposition welding, metal powder is dosed directly into a laser beam. The technology makes it possible to combine different materials in different compositions in a single workpiece. Material gradients are also possible. The technology also has the potential to produce particularly thin-walled, free-standing 3D structures in the future.
The visitors discussed the cooperation of Empa’s laser researchers with partners from the medtech sector and learned how Empa’s application-oriented research is expanding the understanding of basic processes in laser welding and additive manufacturing. Empa has extensive experience in the field of process development, process monitoring and prototype construction for research purposes. A cooperation with Han’s Laser in this area is planned.
Han’s Laser Technology Industry Group was founded in 1996 and today, with a market value of around 6 billion US dollars, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of laser technology and a leader in the Chinese market. The company manufactures more than 200 different types of material processing machines, including laser welding machines, laser cutting machines and laser engraving machines.