Californian metal 3D printer provider VELO3D has announced the largest order of its laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) Sapphire system.
The company will deliver an additional four 3D metal printers to an undisclosed aerospace customer, bringing its installed base of Sapphire systems to a total of nine. Benny Buller, CEO of VELO3D, said, “We are excited to see customers ramping with Sapphire’s SupportFree capabilities.”
“It is clear from customer feedback on our first deliveries that the demand for SupportFree, production ready, Sapphire metal 3D printers is strong and that we are exceeding expectations for the technology.”
The Sapphire System
The Sapphire System, released in 2018, is designed for high volume manufacturing with a 315mm diameter by 400mm height build envelope. It enables engineers to produce parts with overhangs lower than 10°, and large inner diameters without supports. It also features high throughput dual kW laser operation and an integrated in-situ process metrology that allows closed loop melt pool control.
VELO3D’s Flow software, designed specifically for its Sapphire System, works to determine predictable print outcomes using an integrated simulation engine. Most recently, the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing service expanded its metal additive manufacturing capabilities with the Flow software and the Sapphire 3D print system.
Aerospace and additive manufacturing
At the commercial launch of the Sapphire, VELO3D announced that an aerospace OEM had already acquired systems to produce additive manufactured rocket components. The delivery of the four additional systems is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Additionally, last month, VELO3D announced a partnership with Boom Supersonic, a Colorado-based aerospace company, to 3D print flight hardware for the XB-1 aircraft. This latest collaboration will enable the creation of complex parts able to withstand the stresses of supersonic aircraft.
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Featured image shows the VELO3D Sapphire System. Photo via VELO3D.