Fonon Technologies has added a 3D additive printer to its line of laser printers and with that addition, they've set their sights on printing and producing live weaponry for combat scenarios.
Fonon, a developer of high-tech fiber and CO2 laser systems for marking, cutting and engraving applications, says their 3D Metal Sintering System will be a companion to their existing 3D Fusion Laser Metal Sintering technologies.
The firm says the customization and detail needed to tailor precise weapons to exact missions and targets will play strongly into their line of metal printing products. Since the military is looking to implement the latest technology to produce components for weapons, their new system will both reduce cost and increase the possibility of customizing the next generation of weapons systems.
Josh Jones of Fonon says weaponry could be designed to meet specific mission requirements, improving safety, tailoring, controlling and scaling items to achieve desired lethality.
"One key focus is on the economic side of 3D printing," Jones said. "With additive printers, active troops would receive parts, tools and equipment in the field, without the cost of transport and delivery, allowing them the opportunity to conduct safer, faster, more effective missions."
According to Jones, 3D printing also allows for integrating components together to add capabilities at reduced total life cycle costs. He said he's confident that Fonon can reduce life-cycle costs of certain items and make munitions more affordable in the long run through implementation of design for manufacturability.
Jones says Fonon's 3D Laser Metal Sintering uses a high powered laser to fuse fine metallic powders layer by layer together to form functional, 3-dimensional parts digitally driven and formed from 3D CAD design files layered every 10 to 100 microns. He says nano powder layers ranging from 20 microns to 200 microns can be created to desired quality and surface roughness, and material density, and that the process happens in a "tightly controlled, inert atmosphere, particularly for titanium and some other oxygen sensitive metals."
Fonon develops high-tech fiber and CO2 laser systems for marking, cutting, 3D Printing and 3D engraving using their Zero Width Laser Cutting Technology applications. The company says their systems are used by manufacturers in the semiconductor, flat panel display, automotive, aerospace, industrial, defense, electronic and medical fields around the world.