TRUMPF partners with C. Hafner to advance precious metals AM

Precious metal powder manufacturer C. Hafner signed an official collaboration agreement with metal 3D printer OEM TRUMPF. Together, the companies will be pushing innovation and advancements in additive manufacturing technology with precious metals.

The specific aim of the cooperation is a broad use of AM technology in an industrial environment. For jewelry and watch applications as well as for technical products, process parameters were specifically developed for additive manufacturing of precious metal powders on TRUMPF metal 3D printers.

Back in 2018, TRUMPF first demonstrated how a disk laser in the green wavelength range can be used to print pure copper and precious metals. Conventional 3D printers that use infrared light can’t handle materials such as copper and gold, because their highly reflective surfaces prevent melting from taking place. But because green light has a much shorter wavelength than infrared, it opens the door to 3D printing of pure copper and precious metals.

Since its launch, TRUMPF’s TruPrint 1000 Green Edition has carved out a solid position in the market and enjoyed tremendous success. Customers included C. Hafner, which uses this technology to produce watch cases out of red gold and platinum. TRUMPF’s “green printers” are also in use at Fraunhofer IWS, where several institutes are putting the TruPrint 1000 Green Edition to use in various fields of research.

At Formnext 2020, TRUMPF further increased automation and process speeds in its additive manufacturing technologies – and its “green laser” – by showcasing new products and new applications for fast-growing sectors.

“The additive technologies market remains very attractive for TRUMPF,” said at the time Klaus Parey, managing director TRUMPF Additive Manufacturing. “Customers are particularly excited by our TruPrint 1000 machine with a green laser beam source, which is designed for industrial use. Short-wavelength green laser light is the best option for welding pure copper and precious metals.” TRUMPF has made major progress in its products and solutions for additive technologies over recent months, building up a broad portfolio of products that can handle a wide variety of materials.”

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