26 April 2022
Vector Photonics’ lasers on schedule with project BLOODLINE
In advance of the LASER World of PHOTONICS 2022 trade fair in Munich, Germany (26-29 April), photonic-crystal surface-emitting laser (PCSEL) firm Vector Photonics Ltd of Glasgow, Scotland, UK says that the project BLOODLINE (Bright Laser diOdes fOr aDvance metaL addItive maNufacturing systEms) is on schedule.
Funded by UK Government agency Innovate UK (which provides funding and support for business innovation as part of UK Research and Innovation) and led by Vector Photonics, the £1.5m BLOODLINE project is developing high-power 1030nm PCSELs for next-generation 3D metal printing.
The project is guided by the Eureka Network international development program, in conjunction with Innovate UK’s Japanese counterpart, the Japan National Research and Development Agency’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Japan-based laser epitaxy manufacturer QD Laser Inc (a spin-off from Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd) has partnered Vector Photonics for wafer supply. A group of industrial equipment manufacturers will provide product assessment. The UK’s Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult will provide independent accelerated life testing (ALT).
“Vector Photonics’ high-power PCSELs are set to revolutionize the 3D metal printing industry,” reckons Vector’s chief technology officer Dr Richard Taylor. “They significantly increase printer performance and could well accelerate market growth, which is already set to quadruple to $10bn by 2025 [according to the report ‘Additive Manufacturing with Metal Powders, 2019’ from SmarTech Analysis],” he adds. “The PCSELs have a unique combination of increased power; reduced cost and improved performance – the result of higher resolution and faster printing, along with reduced finishing overheads.”