High Power Laser Diode
At the heart of any SLS 3D printer lies the high power laser and optics system which facilitates the energy transfer necessary to solidify the print powder. Commonly in industrial printers, a high-power chemical laser with supporting kilo-volt drive electronics as well as precise lenses and pan/tilt mirrors are used, which enable rapid and precise prints, but add significantly to the cost and complexity of the system.
Our technology aims to bring this cost down. This is done by implementing a comparatively simple and low-power 2 Watt Laser Diode solution. This component operates at a safe low voltage and requires simple, low-cost power circuitry. Only a single three-element lens barrel is used, and the costly pan/tilt mechanism is replaced by an innovative XY translating gantry, shown operating below.
The Laser Diode is a 445nm 2W Continuous Wave InGaN laser, which operates within the visible spectrum.
Great care is taken when operating the laser; specifically OD4 glasses effective at the 445nm wavelength must always be worn when the laser is powered. Additionally, a hardware ignition key and a software-controlled safety relay placed in-line with the laser must both be activated for the laser to emit.