LAM 2015: Advancing the Applications of Laser Additive Manufacturing Technologies

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Held at Florida’s high-tech corridor, LAM promises another no-hype look at the disruptive power of additive processes.

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Primarily, LAM was, is and will be a workshop that is industry driven

The Laser Institute of America (LIA)’s annual workshop on laser additive manufacturing moves to LIA’s hometown of Orlando on March 4-5 at the Embassy Suites – Lake Buena Vista South (Orlando, FL) for the first time in 2015. Held at Florida’s high-tech corridor, LAM promises another no-hype look at the disruptive power of additive processes.

Chaired by Dr. Ingomar Kelbassa, the seventh Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM®) Workshop will focus heavily not only on traditional laser-based cladding applications to prevent or repair corrosion and wear, but also on the process chains vital to optimizing the additive production of parts.

While rapid prototyping with plastic or metal powders is well-established, Kelbassa is among those on the cutting edge of additively producing functional industrial parts. The adjunct professor at Australia’s RMIT University, vice director at the Chair for Laser Technology LLT, RWTH Aachen University and department head at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, Kelbassa was also a member of the Fraunhofer ILT team that won an Aviation Week innovation award in 2012 for producing an additively manufactured BLISK (blade-integrated disk) in about 160 minutes — about two minutes per blade.

“We have developed and improved from 2D cladding to 2.5D cladding to 3D cladding and layer-by-layer buildup of structures as well as all the developments and improvements in the powder-bed processes, (also known as) selective laser melting,” Kelbassa says.

“Primarily, LAM was, is and will be a workshop that is industry driven,” he asserts. “Therefore, the majority of the presentations will be on success stories from OEMs as well as from a service provider's perspective — highlighting industrially implemented additive manufacturing (AM) chains in the aeronautics, power generation, offshore, mining, oil, automotive and tool, die and mold-making fields.”

In keeping with prior LAM education tracks, LAM 2015 will feature an overarching theme each day: process chain and process integration on day one, and real-world success stories on day two.

Day one is scheduled to feature four sessions with three presentations each addressing the paradigm shift in manufacturing – along the horizontal and vertical AM process chain; design and material; process and quality assurance; and systems and process integration. Day two “will feature a more industrially driven telling of success stories in different markets and fields of applications.” He calls the last slate of presentations “visions, because hopefully (we will have a talk) on rapid manufacture of organic materials: not metals or ceramics, but depositing living cells. In the end, the vision is to print out ‘spare parts’ for human beings.”

While industrial additive manufacturing might be confusingly lumped in with the broad spectrum of emerging 3D printing options — particularly vis-à-vis the cheaper personal-style systems for making plastic trinkets — achieving a global perspective on real LAM growth is challenging. That’s where LAM fills a significant need. Kelbassa says:

“At the moment, AM is a niche. But it will be growing. It will not entirely replace subtractive manufacture; it can’t. But in the end there will be a larger divergence (in applications) and also larger technology transfer in different fields of applications. Where we come from now is (using AM for) high-value components (for) aerospace, power generation, automotive, highly complex parts for tool, die and mold making and highly individual parts for mass customization — mainly in medicine such as for (dental) implants etc.”

LIA will ensure a chance to network by scheduling an exhibitor reception starting at 5 p.m. on March 4. Attendees can ask their most pressing questions of some of the most experienced laser-industry professionals, including LAM co-chairs Jim Sears of GE and Paul Denney of Lincoln Electric — both past chairs of LAM. Alabama Laser will once again serve as platinum sponsor of the workshop. Other Sponsors this year include: Cambridge Technology, Inc.; DM3D Technology, LLC; Fraunhofer USA, CCL; IPG Photonics Corporation; Joining Technologies, Inc.; Laserline Inc.; LPW Technology; Optomec and TRUMPF Inc. A complete list of LAM 2015 Exhibitors can be found on the LAM website.

To stay updated on who will present at LAM 2015, or to register, visit http://www.lia.org/lam.

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