German machine tool manufacturer TRUMPF has introduced the TruPrint 1000 laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) 3D printer designed for additive series production at RAPID + TCT 2023.
This entry-level system for additive manufacturing with metal powders offers an efficient and compact solution suitable for a range of applications ranging from dental to small-series production. According to Adam Simons, Head of Additive Manufacturing Sales & Product at TRUMPF, the machine was redesigned to satisfy the needs of the dental sector. The TruPrint 1000 incorporates the use of Multilaser technology and a preform, enabling the efficient 3D printing of 64 individual dental abutments in approximately one hour.
“The new TruPrint machine is two times faster than its predecessor and is ideally suited for series production, especially in the dental or medical technology industry,” said Simons. “It is one of the best choices on the market for processing titanium thanks to the machine’s inert powder cycle and very low gas consumption.”
A compact and efficient metal 3D printer
The 3D printer incorporates two 200-watt lasers and a multi-plate option that enables uninterrupted operation by automatically swapping the build plate, eliminating the need for manual intervention. It offers the convenience of stacking up to four build plates in the build cylinder, allowing components to be 3D printed consecutively on each plate. With a newly designed compact structure, the TruPrint 1000 occupies only half the floor space compared to its predecessors and can easily pass through a standard door.
In smaller production environments, users have the option to deploy multiple machines operating in parallel, significantly enhancing the speed of series production. The TruPrint 1000 offers seamless production of dental prostheses such as crowns, bridges, and cast models using cobalt-chrome or titanium alloys. Furthermore, the system is suitable for medical technology manufacturers and prototype construction across various industries.
The TruPrint 1000 features a user-friendly exchange kit for quick changes to the build, powder, and overflow cylinders. The accessible side filters can be easily replaced, and changing the material takes only 15 to 20 minutes. Additionally, the machine incorporates integrated brushes and gloves, facilitating the cleaning of additively manufactured components and unpacking the build job without opening the door.
Enhancements in shielding gas flow and a clean working environment
TRUMPF has made improvements to the shielding gas flow in the production process. In the event that the protective glass becomes dirty, the machine operator can easily remove and clean it. The refined gas flow system guarantees a consistent production process, ensuring that the predefined laser power consistently reaches the powder. The clean working environment enables users to apply higher layer thicknesses, resulting in increased system productivity and improved quality of the 3D printed parts.
“Thanks to the primary and secondary flow, the work area remains clean even after several build jobs, and the protective glass does not become contaminated,” added Simons. “The same is true when processing tool steel, which can be prone to heavy fuming.”
The TruPrint 1000 operates swiftly and reliably with two lasers processing the entire build plate in the Multilaser version. A beam expander automatically adjusts the laser’s spot diameter to either 55 or 80 micrometers, catering to different applications. The wider spot enhances productivity, while the 55-micrometer spot offers higher energy density for applications requiring special powders.
Improving metal 3D printing with LPBF systems
Bright Laser Technologies (BLT), a Chinese 3D printer manufacturer, introduced its large-format LPBF system called the ‘BLT-S1000.’ With a substantial build volume of 1200 mm x 600 mm x 1500 mm, this represents BLT’s most powerful 3D printer. The machine can be equipped with up to twelve 500W lasers, allowing it to achieve high-speed production of large parts, reaching speeds of up to 300 cm3/h. BLT is specifically targeting engine and petroleum power applications, particularly in the aerospace and automotive sectors, with this advanced machine.
Indian additive manufacturing company Intech Additive Solutions unveiled its 2nd Generation iFusion150, an LPBF metal 3D printer. Building upon the strengths of its predecessor, the iFusion SF1 metal 3D printer, the upgraded iFusion150 brings enhancements in operational safety, decreased human involvement, and additional features like a compact design, dual lock safety, and butterfly valves with automatic control for uninterrupted filter changes. The manufacturer emphasizes the versatility of the iFusion150, catering to various industries including tool and die, R&D labs, general engineering, automotive, aerospace, defense, and educational institutions.
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Featured image shows TruPrint 1000 is suitable for small series production. Image via TRUMPF.