Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA, reports that it plans to launch a next-generation Sapphire® industrial metal Additive Manufacturing machine with a vertical axis of 1 metre. The machine is scheduled to ship in Q4 2020, with precision-tool and component manufacturer Knust-Godwin having secured the first order to produce parts for an oil and gas application.
Technical features of the metre-tall Sapphire AM machine include a 315 mm diameter build plate, dual 1 kW lasers, in-situ optical calibration, as well as many of the same characteristics of the existing Sapphire machine. It is believed to be the world’s tallest production metal Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) Additive Manufacturing system, and is also compatible with nickel-based alloys.
Knust-Godwin will utilise the new Sapphire machine to additively manufacture a part for oilfield drilling that is currently manufactured using more than five subtractive processes. Mike Corliss, VP of Technology at Knust-Godwin, stated, “There tends to be a trade-off between large-format additive machines and part quality; Velo3D is attractive to us because of their semi-conductor heritage and engineering disciplines around process control and metrology. We have confidence that we’ll be able to build mission-critical industrial parts without compromises made to part quality.”
“Our vision at Velo3D is to enable end-users to build whatever they want without the constraints of yesterday’s standards,” stated Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of Velo3D. “One of those constraints is the build envelope. A metre-tall system enables industrial applications that couldn’t be built before, especially for oilfield service tools and flight hardware. Best of all, it will still utilise our highly patented SupportFree process, in-situ calibration, and process control for quality assurance.”