Velo3D has achieved its tallest build-chamber size yet, reaching one-metre in height, for its support-free Sapphire metals 3D printer.
The large, closed-chamber printer is designed to work with the advanced specialty metals that must be laser-fused in a tightly controlled, gas-regulated environment to achieve the highest-quality production parts.
In addition to the 1m build height, the machine has a 315mm-diameter build plate, dual 1kW lasers, in-situ optical calibration, and many of the same characteristics of the existing Sapphire machine.
“A metre-tall system enables industrial applications that couldn’t be built before, especially for oilfield service tools and flight hardware,” said Velo3D CEO Benny Buller.
“Best of all, it will still utilise our highly patented SupportFree process, in-situ calibration, and process control for quality assurance.”
The system will 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.
The immediate part opportunity that Knust-Godwin will address with the meter-tall Sapphire printer is a part for oilfield drilling that is currently manufactured by more than five subtractive processes.
“There tends to be a trade-off 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.”