California-headquartered digital manufacturing firm VELO3D, which lately raised $28 million in a Collection D funding spherical, simply introduced that it has developed a course of for 3D printing elements out of foundry-grade Aluminum F357 on its Sapphire metallic 3D printers. The industrial launch of this functionality is critical, as a result of the fabric is historically manufactured with casting expertise, however now it may be 3D printed in intricate, complicated shapes that casting simply can’t obtain.
“Aluminum F357 has already been licensed for mission-critical functions—not like some unique alloys—so it was a logical addition to our supplies portfolio. We’ll proceed so as to add extra suitable supplies that allow clients to print elements they couldn’t earlier than, but with even higher materials properties than conventional manufacturing,” defined VELO3D Founder and CEO Benny Buller.
This aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which is well-suited for laser powder mattress fusion 3D printing, lets corporations within the aerospace, protection, and navy sectors 3D print elements that was made by means of casting. Particular elements that VELO3D focuses on 3D printing with Aluminum F357 are for thin-walled warmth switch functions.
VELO3D labored with international superior cooling options provider PWR to develop the Sapphire metallic 3D printing course of for Aluminum F357. This was a wise partnership, as PWR has supplied cooling options to a number of racing collection, together with Method 1 and NASCAR, and clients within the aerospace, automotive, and navy industries.
Matthew Bryson, Normal Supervisor for PWR, stated, “We selected Aluminum F357 as a consequence of its best materials properties to go well with thermal efficiency, machining and weldability.
“Our capacity to print free-form and light-weight constructions for warmth switch functions with our Sapphire system from VELO3D will additional improve efficiency and packaging optimization alternatives for our product vary and supply vital worth to our clients.”
VELO3D’s patented SupportFree functionality for metallic 3D printing signifies that assist constructions for steep overhangs, low angles, and complicated passageways usually are not required, permitting customers to achieve geometric freedom. The Sapphire metallic 3D printing system is constructed with a semiconductor mindset to make sure repeatability in serial manufacturing, and paired with a con-contact recoater, its print course of is ready to fabricate the excessive facet ratios and intensely skinny wall constructions wanted for flight-critical functions.
Whereas different aluminum alloys, like AlSi10Mg, are utilized in metallic 3D printing extra usually, Aluminum F357 is good for thin-walled AM functions as a consequence of shared traits with in style casting alloy A356, and since it may be anodized. SmarTech Evaluation experiences that aluminum alloys accounted for near 10% of 3D printed metallic content material final yr, which led to a 43% progress in shipments of aluminum powder. The light-weight materials is clearly rising in AM reputation, as VELO3D wasn’t the one firm this week to roll out the fabric – Optomec simply introduced using its LENS DED programs for 3D printing aluminum elements.
VELO3D’s Sapphire metallic 3D printer is now suitable with Aluminum F357, INCONEL alloy 718, and Titanium64. In case you’re concerned with a 3D printed aluminum alloy prototype, contact the corporate. Final month, VELO3D additionally introduced that a 1-meter tall Sapphire system can be out there in This autumn 2020 for industrial clients, like Knust-Godwin, concerned with utilizing LPBF expertise to print tall elements with out helps.
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