Metal Additive ManufacturingResearch & Education

CERN exploring GH Induction’s copper 3D printing

The copper EBM process could unlock superconducting applications at CERN

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland is reportedly interested in exploring GH Induction’s copper 3D printing technology for superconducting applications. The state-of-the-art facility believes it could benefit from the excellent material properties and design freedom afforded by GH Induction’s Cu material and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) process.

Founded in 1954, CERN is one of the most well recognized research centers in the world, in large part because it operates the largest particle physics laboratory on the planet. It is also well known for housing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a powerful particle accelerator that is made up of a 27-km-long ring consisting of over 1,000 superconducting magnets. The massive LHC, which is built 100-meters underground, is used to study particle collisions.

At CERN, GH Induction’s copper 3D printing capabilities could unlock opportunities in next-gen current leads, specifically for the transport of high electrical currents to the cryogenic operating temperatures of the LHC’s superconducting magnets. (The LHC operates at a temperature of -271.25 degrees Celsius!)

CERN GH Induction
Large Hadron Collider (Photo: CERN)

GH Induction has pioneered an approach to 3D printing coils and inductors made of pure copper that relies on an EBM process. Though copper has been notoriously difficult to work with, GH Induction’s technology (as well as a number of other breakthrough processes) are paving the way to increasingly sophisticated copper 3D printing applications.

For instance, the Residual Resistance Ratio (RRR) achieved using GH Induction’s additive Cu process, along with the geometric freedom associated with AM, is making the technology a viable approach for CERN and its superconducting applications.

Germany-based GH Induction was the first induction manufacturing company to introduce 3D printed inductors made of 100% pure copper. The unique capability has attracted interest from various industries, including the automotive and tooling sectors. Some of the key advantages of 3D printed copper inductors are an increased service life, lower operating costs and more geometric design freedom—all of which enable new applications.


Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

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