Velo3D, a manufacturer of metal additive manufacturing systems or 3D printers, has delivered its seventh Sapphire printer to its largest production customer, which has already ordered a total of 12 systems in the past year.
All previously installed systems are in full production creating mission-critical parts for aerospace applications. The balance of the systems will ship before the end of Q1 2020.
The combination of 12 systems and their productivity makes this one of the largest concentrations of metal additive-manufacturing capacity in the world.
Velo3D says it pioneered the concept of SupportFree, known for its ability to build low-angle geometries without support structures.
Where existing powder-bed AM machines will typically require extensive supports for angles below 45 degrees, the Velo3D solution – consisting of Flow pre-print software, Sapphire printer and Assure quality management software – “can consistently and repeatably produce high-quality metal parts with angles below 10 degrees”, says the company.
This enables geometries, once considered not economically feasible or simply impossible, to be printed.
The system can also build large inner diameters up to 40 mm (1.57”) without need of supports, as compared to 10 mm with existing metal AM machines. Avoiding support structures and reducing post-processing has created a new business case for metal AM adoption.
Benny Buller, founder and CEO of Velo3D, says: “Our mission is to enable OEMs in aerospace and other key verticals to gain trust in 3D metal printing as a dependable manufacturing technology.
“Our end-to-end solution enables users to adopt additive manufacturing without extensive redesign, increasing the viability of 3D metal printing of existing parts.”
Velo3D recently celebrated its one-year anniversary of commercialization, announcing over $24 million in sales at the end of Q3 2019.