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Holographic beam shaping to deliver a boost to metallic 3D printing

Cambridge engineers have begun a three-year research programme to help speed up the manufacture of metallic 3D printed parts and products, by using computer-generated holography.

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In recent years, the manufacturing industry has witnessed a rise in the use of 3D printing for sustainable solutions and customised products, producing high quality items at low cost. This has led to highly adventurous manufacturing techniques being developed, such as additive manufacture (AM), which has expanded the range of materials that can be processed, from plastics to metals and other more exotic materials.

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Now, thanks to funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Professor Tim Wilkinson and his team aim to strengthen metallic 3D printing by using computer-generated holography to improve not only the quality of finished parts and products, but also to allow greater control over the metallic powder during the AM process. State-of-the-art machines use a small laser […]

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