Advanced materials experts at the University of Birmingham have been getting into the festive spirit by creating an aluminium 3D laser printed reindeer.

The process involves using lasers to fuse thin layers of metal powders sequentially spread on a substrate to build the reindeer bottom upwards based on a computer geometrical model of the reindeer.

The process is commonly known as selective laser melting, direct laser metal sintering, or laser powder bed. The complex features in the body of the reindeer is a special mesh-like structure that has unique mechanical properties that can be applied in a wide range of applications such as medical implants and structural parts in aeroplanes.

The 3D reindeer at University of Birmingham
The 3D reindeer at University of Birmingham
 

Dr Moataz Attallah, from the University of Birmingham’s School of Metallurgy and Materials, said: “The joy of Christmas brought to you by 3D printing, where in the future Santa could be printing your Christmas presents!”

The reindeer was made in the Advanced Materials and Processing Lab at the University of Birmingham by Dr Hany Hassanin.