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Additive Manufacturing Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing

Complex Structures with Additive Methods

Unlike casting or most ablative processes, additive methods allow the same machine to produce a wide variety of products without having to replace a single tool. The template that was transferred as a CAD file is all that matters. Complex geometric shapes can also be implemented in a short time.

Different Methods

of Additive Manufacturing

The suitability of different methods of additive manufacturing depends on the material and objective. Now that “3D printing” has been historically established for a long time in the processing of plastics, it is now increasingly gaining ground in the production of metal parts.

Companies in Germany rely especially on the laser beam melting process. Metal powder is typically applied to a working surface in thin layers of 20-60 µm. A laser beam melts the material specifically at the points where a solid structure is to be created.

Lasered on Top of Each Other Layer by Layer. The base plate is then lowered accordingly so that a new layer of powder can be applied. This creates the desired structure layer by layer. After processing, the excess unprocessed powder is removed. In contrast to conventional manufacturing processes, casting molds and tools are not required in additive manufacturing. This accelerates production and enables an almost infinite variety of shapes.

Laser Beam Melting

For an almost infinite variety of shapes

In laser beam melting, the metal powder is almost completely melted, resulting in a body with a specific density of >>99%. This means that many of the mechanical properties correspond to those of conventionally processed metal. However, this procedure is not yet suitable for all conventional materials because some metals change their physical properties during processing. Changes in the surface tension or viscosity of the material can lead, among other things, to the parts not meeting the quality specifications.

Laser Power Makes the Difference. Laser power is one of the deciding factors in making these technologies suitable for mass production. Among other things, stronger lasers lead to potentially higher build-up speeds (cm³/h) in the laser beam melting process. As a rule, solid-state lasers, diode lasers, and medium-strength single-mode fiber lasers with outputs of several hundred watts are used in additive manufacturing. By using several lasers at the same time, the efficiency can be additionally increased.

A slightly widened beam profile is common and results in fewer splashes and metal powder that evaporates less. It is also important that the beam not increase further due to the laser-induced focus shift (heating of the optical elements) to prevent the layers from not being completely melted.

How to get the best beam profile?

Let us select the Ideal Laser Optics for your Application.
Harvey Washbrook
Sales Account Manager
Harvey Washbrook
Laser Components Nordic AB
41263 Göteborg - Sweden

Single Pieces or Small Series


At present, additive manufacturing processes are still frequently used for single pieces or small series. This is where the advantages of this technology make it unique. In medical technology, for example, titanium implants can be manufactured individually based on the physiological makeup of the patient. However, for economic reasons, most companies continue to use conventional production routes for the mass production of standard parts.

“If you try to reproduce standard components by simply using a 3D printer, you will often find that it takes longer and that the result does not meet the usual quality criteria,” explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan T. Sehrt from the newly established chair for hybrid additive manufacturing at the Ruhr University of Bochum. “However, this is often not due to the technology but to the upstream work on the computer. Whoever wants to use additive manufacturing economically must also adapt the product design to this technology. It is best if the designer has knowledge of the entire process chain, including the use of components.”

In order to achieve an optimal result, many factors must be considered. The thicker the metal layers, the faster the product is ready. However, the “step effect” on curves, freeform surfaces, and blunt angles also increases while the surface quality decreases. It is therefore necessary to find a compromise that guarantees a high surface quality with reasonable production times.

The physical properties of the material also play a role. Anisotropic effects can occur in the component due to the layered application. Such effects can be avoided if the position of the product on the work surface is changed, for example by producing it with an incline of a few degrees. To ensure that the part is still firmly connected to the construction platform during the entire process, support structures must be included in the planning phase and then removed again after production. These struts also reduce the distortion that can occur when the material cools which affects the overall structure. They also dissipate the thermal energy generated when the powder melts.

»Whoever wants to use additive manufacturing economically must also adapt the product design to this technology.«

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan T. Sehrt
Chair for Hybrid Additive Manufacturing, Ruhr University of Bochum
April 2019

The Right Exposure Strategy

has a siginificant influence on product quality

3D Powder Printer 3D Powder Printer

In addition to the model, the right exposure strategy also has a significant influence on product quality. Each area of a component has different requirements. Also, it is possible to set the component properties specifically via the exposure parameters with the laser. For example, a component could be built up more densely in the outer area than in the inner area.

Overhanging areas of the component play a special role because of their support structures; in certain areas a particularly high surface quality is required. These factors can be influenced by various exposure parameters – for example, the exposure time or the distance between the trails of melting. Here, too, computer programs help to determine the correct exposure strategy and thus achieve optimal product quality.

How all these measures affect the production process and product quality can be tested by the designer in a simulation on the computer before actual production begins. “As in many areas of Industry 4.0, the amount of work involved shifts from the manufacturing process to planning and control,” explains Prof. Sehrt.


Beyond Borders

Product Selection

Beyond Borders

Aspherical lens Aspherical lens
Aspherical Lenses

Aspherical lenses correct aberrations, which in monochromatic light include image sharpness errors and distortion.

A typical application of these lenses is the focusing of a collimated beam onto an optical fiber.
BWA-MON Beam Analyzer

The BWA-MON beam analysis system allows for real time monitoring of all beam parameters in high-performance lasers.

Brewster Plates

Brewster plates are used to separate s- and p-polarized light.

Brewster plates have a rectangular shape and are inserted at a specific angle of incidence to the laser beam. Light that is polarized parallel to the plane of incidence/reflection is completely transmitted at Brewster’s angle, whereas about 50 % of s-polarized light is transmitted.
Spherical Mirrors Spherical Mirrors
Cavity Mirror / End Mirror

Cavity end mirrors are used to generate the laser beam in the resonator.

Resonator end mirrors, also known as cavity mirrors, are designed to have high reflectivity at the desired laser wavelength in order to maximize the efficiency of the laser.
Cylindrical lens Cylindrical lens
Cylindrical Lenses


We offer plano-concave and plano-convex cyclindrical lenses in rectangular, square, and round form.
Diagnostic Beam Splitter Diagnostic Beam Splitter
Diagnostic Beam Splitters


Dichroic mirrors separate or combine two or more beams of different wavelengths in the desired ratio and enable process monitoring on the operating level in several wavelength ranges, as well as beam diagnostics. Their complex design enables multiple transmission and reflection ranges.
Dichroic Mirrors Dichroic Mirrors
Dichroic Mirrors

combine or separate two or more beams with different wavelengths.

Customized dichroic mirrors that are suitable for your individual application are manufactured upon request. 
Dichroic Mirrors Dichroic Mirrors
Dichroic Mirrors

combine or separate two or more beams with different wavelengths.

Customized dichroic mirrors that are suitable for your individual application are manufactured upon request. 
Gaussian Mirrors Gaussian Mirrors
Gaussian Mirrors

The degree of reflection slopes from the center of the optic in a Gaussian distribution. 

Gaussion mirrors are used in unstable resonators - mostly as meniscus lenses with an integrated wedge to avoid back reflections despite of antireflection coatings.
Optical Flat Mirrors High Power Optical Flat Mirrors High Power
High-power Laser Mirrors

Optimized for high-power lasers with intense pulse energies or high average powers

Mirrors for high-power lasers are high-precision optical components that direct or focus the laser beam. Thanks to a dielectric coating, the mirrors reflect the laser beam efficiently and withstand the high thermal load caused by the laser energy.
Optical Windows Optical Windows
Laser Debris Shield

Protective windows are used during laser material processing to protect against material splashes.

Protective windows are the last optics to be used in front of the work area. They protect high-quality laser optics from material splashes during cutting, welding, drilling, structuring, marking and additive manufacturing. Protective windows are available in a variety of shapes and qualities.
Laser Line Beam Splitter Laser Line Beam Splitter
Laser Line Beam Splitter


When working with lasers, it is often necessary to split a laser beam into two or more defined partial beams. There are a variety of beam splitters for these applications, with different advantages and disadvantages. Dielectrically coated beam splitters have a high laser damage threshold. 

LASER COMPONENTS Nordic - Your competent partner for optical and optoelectronic components in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.

Welcome to LASER COMPONENTS Nordic AB, your expert for photonics components. Each product in our wide range of detectors, laser diodes, laser modules, optics, fiber optics, and more is worth every Crown (SEK). Our customized solutions cover all conceivable areas of application: from sensor technology to medical technology. You can reach us here:

Box 14001 / Skårs led 3
SE-400 20 Göteborg

Phone: +46 (0)31 703 7173
Email: info(at)

Team of experts
You have questions or need our support?
Please call us.
Harvey Washbrook
Sales Account Manager
Harvey Washbrook
Laser Components Nordic AB
41263 Göteborg - Sweden
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Laser Components

Box 14001 / Skårs led 3
SE-400 20 Göteborg

Phone: +46 (0)31 703 7173

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