Recently, the US military announced that it had awarded Nuburu, an industrial blue diode laser manufacturer, a research contract and would help it develop an additive manufacturing (AM) solution with regional printing technology.
It is reported that this project lasts for one year and aims to display a metal 3D printer based on Nuburu blue laser technology with high speed and accuracy. According to the company, the goal of this new 3D printer is to provide micron-level resolution, special part size, metal density and manufacturing speed, with almost no post-processing and no thermal shrinkage of parts.
Dr. Mark Zediker, CEO, co-founder and president of Nuburu, said: “We are honored to bring blue laser technology and the next generation of 3D printing capability to the US military through this contract. Our goal is to create a larger size 3D printer. By combining the absorption advantages of blue laser with regional printing technology, its printing speed can reach 100 times of the all-metal density infrared laser printer.”
If Nuburu achieves this goal, the U.S. military will be able to manufacture replacement parts for the old aircraft of its original supplier, which usually took several months to purchase. This also means that the time required to manufacture and replace key components has been greatly reduced, and the aircraft can therefore return to combat readiness more quickly.
Ron Nicol, executive chairman of Nuburu, said: “Nuburu has taken the lead in applying metal welding technology in the fields of batteries, electric vehicles and consumer electronics. We are pleased to be able to further extend our capabilities to metal 3D printing, which uses our blue laser technology.”
He added that the project would help regional printing technology to enter key markets such as aerospace and automobile with its high throughput capacity and cost advantages.
The above contract is the second phase of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. Founded in 2017, AFWERX is an innovative department of the United States Air Force.
Nuburu, founded in 2015, recently announced its plan to merge with Tailwind Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company, for listing. The transaction is expected to be completed at the beginning of next year. In May this year, the company also announced that it had reached cooperation with Essentium, an industrial additive manufacturing system manufacturer, to jointly develop and manufacture a metal additive manufacturing (AM) platform based on blue laser.