Digital manufacturing innovator Velo3D announced its plans to launch a next-generation Sapphire industrial 3D metal printer with a vertical axis of 1 meter. The system will ship in Q4 2020, with precision-tool and component manufacturer Knust-Godwin securing the first order to produce parts for an oil and gas application.
The immediate part opportunity that Knust-Godwin will address with the meter-tall Sapphire printer is a part for oilfield drilling that is currently manufactured by more than five subtractive processes. Additive manufacturing enables consolidation of such traditional processes, improving part quality and part performance.
“There tends to be a trade-off between large-format additive machines and part quality,” states Mike Corliss, VP of Technology at Knust-Godwin. “We have confidence that we’ll be able to build mission-critical industrial parts without compromises made to part quality.”
The technical features of the meter-tall Sapphire printer include a 315 mm-diameter build plate, dual 1 kW lasers, in-situ optical calibration, and many of the same characteristics of the existing Sapphire machine. It will be the world’s tallest production metal-powder laser additive manufacturing system, exceeding the build height of both the SLM 800 and the GE Additive X Line 2000R.
The system will be commercially available starting late 2020 and compatible with nickel-based alloys.