Editor’s Pick: Industrial metal 3D printer with 1-meter-tall build chamber
Velo3D says this new printer is a response to the trade-off many industrial users face when needing 3D printing of mission-critical metal parts that require specialty metals.
April 22, 2020
Velo3D introduces the next generation of its Sapphire industrial 3D printer, featuring an industry-leading 1-meter-tall build chamber. Velo3D says this new printer is a response to the trade-off many industrial users face when needing 3D printing of mission-critical metal parts that require specialty metals.
Larger-format “open air” 3D metal printers are available, but the Sapphire will be the largest closed-chamber printer that works with advanced metals. Target markets for the new printer include aerospace and oil/gas. Velo3D says other precision industries that require a tightly controlled, gas-regulated printing environment for large parts will also benefit.
Velo3D says the 1 meter, closed chamber build chamber in the new Sapphire exceeds the build height of both the SLM 800 and the GE Additive X Line 2000R.
Precision tool and component manufacturer Knust-Godwin will be the launch customer for the new printer. The initial application will be to make a specific oilfield drilling part that is currently manufactured by more than five subtractive processes. Knust-Godwin says in a statement announcing the launch that moving to the Sapphire for building this part “enables consolidation of such traditional processes improving part quality and part performance.”
“There tends to be a trade-off between large-format additive machines and part quality,” says Mike Corliss, vice president of Technology at Knust-Godwin. “We have confidence that we will be able to build mission-critical industrial parts without compromise made to part quality.”
The 1-meter-tall build chamber will extend the operating capabilities of the existing Sapphire 3D printer, which include a 315-mm-diameter build plate, dual 1 kW lasers, and in-situ optical calibration. The new Sapphire will be compatible with nickel-based alloys. Velo3D’s “Intelligent Fusion” process eliminates the need for supports in most builds.
The new Sapphire will be commercially available in late 2020.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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