Current Metal Powder Bed Systems – The Gaussian Laser Problem

Why Metal Printed Parts Have Unpredictable Unit-to-Unit Variations Limiting the Transition from Prototype to Production

LAKE MARY, FL, September 26th, 2016 – Fonon agrees with industry experts that metal printed parts data exhibit unit-to-unit variations that do no behave consistently over time or within normal distribution control limits. There are a number of issues with today’s metal printing systems that contribute to inconsistent, unpredictable metal printed part quality. This is a 10 part series of articles that will isolate each of the problems with current system technology affecting metal printed parts and how next-generating metal printing systems by Fonon eliminate these issues allowing metal printed parts data to meet normal distribution control limits.

Current generation systems use a laser designed for the rapid cutting of metal that both over-heats and under-heats the metal powder. The energy density profile is Gaussian shaped with the powder bed continuously subjected to non-uniform illumination across the powder bed. This is one of the reasons there are random areas of un-melted powder or residual stress hotspots in any given build layer. There is no algorithm that can correct the non-uniform illumination of the Gaussian profile Fiber laser.

  Today’s metal printing systems typically use a 400W or 500W Fiber laser. The higher the wattage, the faster the processing time under the same conditions implying the 500W laser would process the same application  faster. Industry experts cite metal printing speed as one of their top concerns desiring metal printing  systems to manufacture parts faster.

While Fiber lasers up to 8KW are readily available today, only two suppliers now offer metal printing systems with a 1KW Fiber laser. A limiting factor with respect to higher Fiber laser wattages is linked to the amount of energy the coated mirrors of the Galvo scan head can withstand. A 1KW Fiber laser is close to the threshold. It is highly likely that over time, the 1KW Fiber laser may place too much stress on the scan head mirrors requiring maintenance to replace the Galvo scan head. There is not sufficient field data available today to clarify this concern as a repair issue but it is worth noting this may be a reason why the rest of today’s suppliers have not released new models with 1KW Fiber lasers.

About Fonon Corporation

Fonon is the innovative leader in manufacturing 3D, Fiber and CO2 Laser material processing equipment for marking, cutting and engraving applications. Fonon equipment is used by manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, industrial, defense, electronic and medical industries around the world. Fonon strives to provide unrivaled products with respect to value, performance, range, and efficiency. For more information, visit

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 involving risks and uncertainties. Results, events and performances could vary from those contemplated. These statements involve risks and uncertainties which may cause results, expressed or implied, to differ from predicted outcomes. Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to product demand, market competition and the company’s ability to meet current and future plans. Investors should study and understand all risks before making an investment decision. Readers are recommended not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Fonon is not obligated to publicly release revisions to any forward-looking statement, to reflect events or circumstances afterward, or to disclose unanticipated occurrences except as required under applicable law.

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