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Nuburu wins USAF contract to develop blue laser additive manufacturing system

30 Aug 2022

New 3D printers to offer micron-level resolution and up to 100x build speed.

Nuburu, a developer of high-power and high-brightness blue lasers for 3D printing and industrial applications, has been awarded an AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract to develop a blue laser-based 3D printing solution with area printing technology.

The goal of the one-year project is to demonstrate improved speed and accuracy of a metal 3D printer based on Nuburu’s blue laser technology.

The firm says that the new class of 3D printers will aim to offer micron level resolution, increased part size and metal density, and up to 100x build speed, with minimal post-processing and part shrinkage.

‘Next-generation 3D printing’

“We are honored to bring the power of blue laser technology and next-generation 3D printing capabilities to the United States military through this contract,” said Mark Zediker, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Nuburu.

“By combining the absorption advantages of blue lasers with area printing technology, we aim to create larger scale 3D printers that can offer up to 100x the printing speed of an infrared laser-based printer with full metal density. If we are successful, this could allow the military to build replacement parts for older aircraft that have been obsoleted by the original suppliers and can otherwise take months to procure.”

“Nuburu has already pioneered metal welding applications within batteries, e-mobility and consumer electronics, and we are excited to continue expanding our capabilities into metal 3D printing, all with the same powerful blue laser technology,” commented Ron Nicol, executive chairman.

“This project will help to bring area printing, with its high throughput capabilities and cost advantages, to key markets such as aerospace, automotive and more.”

AFWERX is an innovation arm of the U.S. Department of the Air Force that accelerates agile and affordable capability transitions by pairing innovative technology developers with Airman and Guardian talent.

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