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ITRI Showcases 3D Printed Playable Saxophone

By Korbin Lan
Published: Oct 14,2015

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) showcased its gLaserTrim and 3D printing materials crystal-controlled laser engine technology, nominated by R&D 100 Awards, in Laser Taiwan 2015. And demonstrated a real saxophone which was manufactured by a indigenous 3D matel printer.

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Yu Guixin, assistant manager of ITRI and CEO of South Branch, said that ITRI’s laser machining and laser lamination manufacturing (3D printing) technology already very advanced. The "3D printing material crystal-controlled laser engine technology," allows a single piece of parts to have different level of hardnesses, breaking the limitation of current 3D printing equipment which is only manufacturing single mechanical property. It can produce different hardness and toughness in single component.

Such as automotive turbine blades, which need high hardness in the place where high degree of durability is required, and high toughness is required in the blade area.By using ITRI’s "3D printing material crystal-controlled laser engine" can complete it in one maunfactiring process.

ITRI’s gLaserTrim technology is a laser-based edge-trimming technology for ultra-thin industrial glass substrates, which is able to trim a glass-based composite substrate with a clean and smooth edge.

gLaserTrim functions by shining a laser beam with a specific amount of energy along the edge of the glass substrate. This induces a thermal shock that removes the glass edge along with the microcracks and roughness. The glass edge peels off and leaves a smooth edge that relieves internal strain, drastically improving the glass substrate’s ability to withstand internal strain from the production handling. Therefore, the development of gLaserTrim is beneficial to the mass production of OLED lighting devices as well as various multi-function touch panels, wearable devices, and more.

With the metal powder melted by laser and stacked into shape layer by layer, the 3D metal printer developed by ITRI can manufacture 10 cm3 and 25 cm3 work pieces, achieving precision of 50 µm (equal to the radius of a human hair), and a density of about 99%. Its products made of titanium alloy powder have a tensile strength of 950 Mpa and above, which has reached the level of medical instruments, making it qualified to produce complex-structured golden ornaments, metallic molds, medical instruments, and components.

ITRI also cooperated with Yifeng International, Inc., a professional instruments OEM company, to co-develop a 3D printed saxophone which not only has very good sound but also reduce the time and cost of mold.

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