Laser System

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The Metalbot laser system is a huge engineering challenge. We need skills that range from optical engineering to electronic and even mechanical engineering.

There are also many dangers involved with lasers so please read the safety section!

Because many of the components that make up the 'laser system' are commercial closed source we have to start from the ground up. The laser system is also the single most expensive component in the 3D Metal Printer.

A major task is to source an affordable laser that can melt metal powders. The lasers used in commercial sintering machines are very high wattage lasers. As an example, some companies use 200W-400W Fiber Lasers which are unattainable for the average person. We are therefore looking at using lasers between 10-100W.

There are also many types of lasers that behave differently and have specific pros and cons. In addition there are many variables to consider when dealing with lasers.

Contents

Laser Type

The are many different types of lasers to consider, each with their own special qualities and benefits.

Beam Focus

Multi-beams

This section details ways of using multiple beams to increase the energy of the laser spot for sintering.

Scanning

Gaussian Optics

Cooling

Lasers and laser power supplies tend to generate a lot of heat due to their high current consumption. That is why many of the components and lasers themselves are pachaged in heavy metal enclosures.

Lasers are typically attached via a good thermal bond to a large metal heatsink which is either air or even water cooled.

Safety

Please look carefully at the Safety page before proceeding!

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