Laser additive manufacturing poised to take-off

Orlando, FL—Bill Steen—a chartered engineer, emeritus professor with Liverpool University, and a Fellow of the Laser Institute of America (LIA) who will be a Plenary Speaker at this year’s Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) Workshop (Houston, TX; May 11–12, 2010)—has titled his presentation, “Some Thoughts on Laser Additive Manufacturing.”

Orlando, FL—Bill Steen—a chartered engineer, emeritus professor with Liverpool University, and a Fellow of the Laser Institute of America (LIA) who will be a Plenary Speaker at this year’s Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) Workshop (Houston, TX; May 11–12, 2010)—has titled his presentation, “Some Thoughts on Laser Additive Manufacturing.” Professor Steen, commenting on the early days (1980s) of laser cladding for automotive applications, recalls that putting powder down proved to be problematic. “In frustration,” he says, the automaker asked if powder might be blown into the application field. “So we blew it in by filling up a drinking straw with powder. This rather simple experiment worked extremely well, so Rolls Royce patented it.”

Almost 30 years later, the LIA is recreating the same sense of excitement and discovery with its second-annual LAM workshop. Industry experts from the automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, biomedical, construction, and other fields will converge in Houston to hear Steen, the keynote, and others tout LAM’s vast potential. Lasers’ low heat and precision mean a world of possibilities and efficiencies for additive manufacturing, and LIA assures that the show will “have a significant impact on the widespread industrial implementations.”

Paul Denney, general chair of the LAM workshop and director of the laser applications lab at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, says, “We recognize that additive manufacturing is a very broad topic area and at this point is hot in a number of industries, that’s one reason we’re going to be in Houston. For example, tailoring surfaces for performance is a big issue for the oil and gas and energy industries located in that area, so that’s why we’re taking the show to them.”

The cutting-edge value of the LAM workshop has been affirmed with sponsorships from major industry leaders like Alabama Laser, Coherent, Huffman, IPG Photonics, Laserline, Fraunhofer, Joining Technologies, and Trumpf. Topics will include:

• Laser cladding for aerospace, automotive, DOD, heavy equipment, oil and gas, and power generation.
• New cladding techniques for component repair and general manufacturing.
• Research, development and international applications of additive manufacturing.

For more information, visit www.laserinstitute.org/lam. Now is the time to register for the May 11-12 event, while attendance space is still available.

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