Multimillion Dollar Additive Manufacturing Platform a Boost for Industry

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 12 September 2012:Optomec announced today that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa has purchased an Optomec Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) system for metal additive manufacturing applications. The LENS system, which is located in the Laser Materials Processing area at CSIR’s headquarters in Brummeria, is expected to give a great boost to the South African Tool and Die industry, reducing dependence on foreign suppliers. CSIR will focus their LENS activities on developing repair and fabrication processes for high value metal components used in the automotive, aerospace and manufacturing industries.

CSIR also offers specialized LENS services to both local and international industry sectors. Herman Burger of CSIR states “Our market research brought us to the conclusion that Optomec is the market leader offering the most mature technology and the best technical and maintenance support. The proven capability to process titanium to aerospace industry standards was also a strong recommendation. The professionalism and openness of the sales staff inspired confidence in Optomec as a company and partner. Due to the nature of the South Africa industry, we have a very strong focus on refurbishment of components. In addition we will perform R&D on additive manufacturing with titanium alloys primarily for the aerospace but also for the biomedical industries.”

Optomec LENS Additive Manufacturing systems are used to cost-effectively fabricate, enhance, and repair high-performance metal components in materials such as titanium, stainless steel, and Inconel®. LENS systems use the energy from a high-power laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powdered metals. The resulting fully functional 3-dimensional components have excellent mechanical properties, equivalent to forged components for many applications. LENS systems are used throughout the entire product lifecycle for applications ranging from Materials Research to Functional Prototyping.

CSIR is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organizations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth. CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research, technological innovation as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of the country’s people. CSIR is committed to supporting innovation in South Africa to improve national competitiveness in the global economy. Science and technology services and solutions are provided in support of various stakeholders, and opportunities are identified where new technologies can be further developed and exploited in the private and public sectors for commercial and social benefit.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Photovoltaic, Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary Aerosol Jet and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.