VELO3D launches large-format industrial 3D metal printer
VELO3D announced its plans to launch a next-generation Sapphire industrial 3D metal printer with a vertical axis of 1 m (3.3 ft). The system is expected to ship in Q4 2020, with precision-tool and component manufacturer Knust-Godwin securing the first order to produce parts for an oil and gas application.
“Our vision at VELO3D is to enable end users to build whatever they want without the constraints of yesterday’s standards,” said Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of VELO3D. “One of those constraints is the build envelope. A meter-tall system enables industrial applications that couldn’t be built before, especially for oilfield service tools and flight hardware. Best of all, it will still utilize our highly patented SupportFree process, in-situ calibration, and process control for quality assurance.”
The immediate part opportunity that Knust-Godwin will address with the printer is a part for oilfield drilling that is currently manufactured by more than five subtractive processes. The company says that additive manufacturing enables consolidation of such traditional processes, improving part quality and part performance.
“There tends to be a tradeoff between large-format additive machines and part quality; VELO3D is attractive to us because of their semiconductor heritage and engineering disciplines around process control and metrology,” said Mike Corliss, VP of Technology at Knust-Godwin. “We have confidence that we’ll be able to build mission-critical industrial parts without compromises made to part quality.”
The technical features of the printer include a 315 mm (12.4 in) diameter build plate, dual 1 kW lasers, in-situ optical calibration, and many of the same characteristics of the existing Sapphire machine. According to the company, it will be the world’s tallest production metal-powder laser additive manufacturing system, exceeding the build height of both the SLM 800 and the GE Additive X Line 2000R.
The company says that while larger-format "open air" additive manufacturing equipment exists, this will be the biggest closed-chamber printer designed to work with the advanced specialty metals used in aerospace, oil and gas, and other precision industries that must be laser-fused in a tightly controlled, gas-regulated environment to achieve the highest-quality production parts.
The system will be commercially available starting late 2020 and compatible with nickel-based alloys.
For more information, visit www.velo3d.com.