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Airbus subsidiary rings in the holidays with Farsoon's four-laser 3D printer -

Airbus subsidiary rings in the holidays with Farsoon’s four-laser 3D printer –

Farsoon APworks

APWORKS and Farsoon people in front of the box of the newly delivered Farsoon FS422M-H-4 machine. Image courtesy of Farsoon Europe.

In a strategic move to improve its production capabilities, Germany-based manufacturing company APWORKS, a subsidiary of aerospace giant Airbus (EPA: AIR), has chosen Farsoon’s (SHA: 688433) FS422M-4 3D printer to power its high-quality, complex products to strengthen the manufacture of metal parts, particularly for aerospace and automotive applications. Farsoon’s medium-sized metal 3D printer features four lasers, quadrupling manufacturing productivity. This first Farsoon machine for APWORKS was delivered just before Christmas and not only meets the company’s growing production needs, but also marks the start of a broader partnership with Farsoon focused on innovation, production capacity and sustainable, high-quality manufacturing.

A focus of this partnership is to qualify Scalmalloy for the FS422M-4 3D printer. Scalmalloy is a trademarked high-strength aluminum alloy known for its exceptional lightweight and high-performance properties. It is particularly valuable in industries where reducing weight without compromising strength is critical. Developed by APWORKS, this material is tailored for additive manufacturing (AM) applications.

Used primarily in aerospace, motorsports, automotive and other high-tech industries, Scalmalloy offers a unique combination of lightweight properties and mechanical strength. Its application is becoming increasingly important in the manufacture of parts for spacecraft, bicycles, robotics and marine equipment. With the FS422M-4, APWORKS aims to streamline the production of Scalmalloy parts and improve the accessibility and usability of the material in these sectors. The Farsoon FS422M-4 was selected by APWORKS in November 2023 and is expected to play a critical role in the company’s efforts towards more sustainable and efficient manufacturing processes.

Production shift

Jon Meyer, CEO of APWORKS, noted: “We are very excited about this move with FARSOON. We believe this will allow us to scale our production of high quality Scalmalloy parts in the most economical way. Over the past decade, we have focused on developing metal additive manufacturing applications that provide added value to our customers. We design and manufacture products with the highest performance and quality, supporting customers in a variety of industries.

Farsoon FS422M 4 High resolution rendered v01 20220930 Farsoon FS422M-4. Image courtesy of Farsoon.

Known for its large print area (425mm x 425mm x 550mm) and four-laser technology, the FS422M-4 Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) system perfectly fits APWORKS’ requirements for high-quality Series production. The FS422M is a second generation metal printer designed using the CAMS (Continuous Additive Manufacturing Solution) concept, providing continuous production capability. Like all Farsoon machines, the FS422M-4 is an open platform that offers the user a high level of control to adjust processing parameters to meet the needs of industrial applications and cost-effective metal AM.

However, Farsoon’s FS422M-4 system is part of its broader success story. The China-based company recently announced a significant achievement, selling 1000 systems to global customers by the end of November 2023. What’s notable is that over the past three years, half of these sales have been medium format machines measuring 400mm and above.

1000 systen sales scaled

3D milestone

APWORKS’ decision to select Farsoon’s FS422M-4 underscores the industry’s trend toward large format multilaser systems. These systems offer greater efficiency and productivity, key factors in making metal additive manufacturing more economical for a wider range of applications.

Meyer says: “Our goal has always been to expand the scope of metal additive manufacturing (AM), which has generally been limited by the economics of the process.” The total cost of ownership combined with the productivity of the AM systems we use is the most important factor in defining the application areas in which we can add value. We believe the Farsoon FS422M-4 machine offers us a significant improvement in total cost of ownership and productivity, allowing us to target applications that were previously not economically attractive. Through this collaboration with Farsoon, we aim to further expand the scope of our business and enable more customers to benefit from the benefits of this technology.”

The partnership between APWORKS and Farsoon is more than a business transaction; It is a strategic alliance intended to make a significant contribution to the metal AM landscape in Europe. According to Meyer, this collaboration is designed to “enable more customers to benefit from the benefits of this technology,” setting a new industry standard for innovation, efficiency and quality.