Industry’s First Technology to Use Magnesium Alloys in Wire-Laser Metal 3D Printer Developed by Multi-sector Consortium in Japan

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503), Magnesium Research Center (MRC) of Kumamoto University, TOHO KINZOKU CO., LTD., and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced today the 3D printing industry’s first high-precision additive manufacturing (AM) technology for using magnesium alloys in a wire-laser metal 3D printer via the directed energy deposition (DED) method, marking a significant leap forward in industrial manufacturing. Unlocking the potential to process magnesium alloys with unparalleled precision and complexity will pave the way for rocket, automobile, aircraft, etc. components that are lighter and stronger than those made of iron or aluminum, leading to improved fuel efficiency and, in the case of rockets, reduced production costs. In addition, the envisioned production processes based on a wire-laser metal 3D printer will be more energy efficient and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional processes, promising to deliver low-impact solutions for increased sustainability.

Since September 2022, the consortium members have been conducting joint research (Research on Laser Wire DED Method AM Process Technology Using Magnesium Alloy Wire) under the framework of JAXA’s Innovative Future Space Transport System Research and Development Program, working to reduce the weight of rockets and thereby drastically cut costs. In addition to rockets, the need for weight reduction has increased in recent years due to factors including the shift to electric vehicles and the growing demand for commercial aircraft, so magnesium alloys are attracting attention in many fields.

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