Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA, has partnered with Honeywell Aerospace, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, to qualify Velo3D’s Sapphire™ metal Additive Manufacturing system as a viable platform for the production of aircraft components.
The Sapphire system was reportedly selected for its unique ability to additively manufacture highly complex geometries without support structures, said to enable customers to benefit from substantial time, cost and quality improvements.
The Sapphire system will reportedly be located in Honeywell Aerospace’s Phoenix facility. The qualification process is underway and focused on Inconel, a nickel-based superalloy well-suited to extreme temperatures. Velo3D states that it will provide its expertise in developing suitable parameter sets for Honeywell Aerospace to complete material qualification utilising the Sapphire system, in order to achieve optimal material properties. The qualification process is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020
“We are qualifying Velo3D’s Sapphire system with the aim of printing geometries that can’t be fabricated on existing 3D metal printers,” stated Dr Söeren Wiener, Senior Director of Technology and Advanced Operations for Honeywell Aerospace. “Their technology will help Honeywell develop new production-part applications while also meeting our material requirements for qualification.”
Wiener added, “We intend to qualify this equipment through repeatability testing in our production environment, including build and post-processing, to generate an acceptable set of material property data and qualification of flight hardware.”
Benny Buller, founder and CEO of Velo3D, commented, “The geometric enablement we are able to offer customers like Honeywell Aerospace allows them to print what used to be ‘impossible parts’ and, yet, do it with a strong business case of improved cost and better quality. We are excited to partner with Honeywell to demonstrate that 3D metal printing is a viable production manufacturing method for a wider range of end-use applications.”