California-based metal additive manufacturing technology company Velo3D has partnered with Connecticut’s Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc. (PST), a producer of specialty alloy-based powders, to develop and qualify process parameters for its materials.
“PST is constantly looking for ways to help expand the number of applications that are addressable by metal additive manufacturing, and Velo3D is a great company to partner with in this effort,” said Andy Shives, business manager for additive manufacturing at PST.
“Velo3D’s technology enables the building of difficult geometries, which opens up new opportunities for additive manufacturing across a broad range of applications.”
The Sapphire System
Inspired by the demands of the aerospace, energy, and medical industries, Velo3D has created the laser powder bed metal additive 3D printer termed the Sapphire System. Designed for high volume manufacturing, this system comprises a 315mm diameter by 400mm height build envelope, with high throughput dual laser operation.
Furthermore, the Sapphire System enables engineers to produce parts with overhangs lower than 5°, and large inner diameters without supports. According to Velo3D, such capabilities are not seen in conventional systems as they often require supports for any geometry below 45°.
The Sapphire and Velo3D’s Flow print preparation software will solidify process parameters for new alloys with Praxair’s TruForm powders. Velo3D will also qualify PST as an approved supplier of powder for released parameter sets for Velo3D’s additive manufacturing systems. Praxair’s TruForm powders — 718 and 64 — have already been validated with the Sapphire.
Driving adoption of additive manufacturing
Stefan Zschiegner, chief product and marketing officer at Velo3D, the partnership with Praxair is a mutually beneficial agreement that will see both companies driving adoption of additive manufacturing. “Praxair,” says Zschiegner, “is a trusted alloy solution provider and the right kind of partner for Velo3D’s rigorous standards for metal powder quality.”
Shives added, “We have a focus on advancing powder and atomization technology, and this goes hand-in-hand with Velo3D’s focus on advancing the laser powder bed process.”
“Both companies are supporting efforts around process and quality control, which are critical for faster adoption of metal AM, and we look forward to pushing the envelope together.”
Last year, PST awarded a TruForm AMbition grant to Dr. Jing Zhang, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, of the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, to lead research on the growth of metal additive manufacturing in the academic community.
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Featured image shows Praxair induction melt argon gas atomization metal powder processing equipment. Photo via Praxair.