Velo3D has recently launched its newest metal 3D printer with their trademark Sapphire System technology. The Sapphire System employs a Laser Powder Bed Fusion process using inconel 718 and titanium 6al-4v powders for processing. The company touts the system’s ability to create structures with complex geometric designs “once considered impossible“.
The printer uses Velo3D’s intelligent fusion process that incorporates process simulation, performance prediction and closed-loop control processing. This allows for a thorough and accurate print process that also use fewer supports at trickier angles. The company demonstrates this with their Stator Ring prints, showing off how the system handles low angle surfaces.
Another way the system improves on metal printing applications is with the use of a deformation correction software. The software calculates deformation, which it then compensates for by pre-deforming the original geometry in such a way that the final part is dimensionally correct. The pre-corrected parts conform better to the original CAD software than their traditional counterparts.
Sapphire System Features
The Sapphire System has a large 315mm z-axis and 400 mm build envelope. It houses a dual 1kW laser system with a minimum feature size and wall thickness below 250 microns and a surface finish under 3 microns. The Sapphire System also allows for down to 5° angles without the need for support structures with Large unsupported inner diameters of 40mm.
While the company has only stated that it works with inconel and titanium, it is unclear whether they plan to add more materials to the portfolio of this particular system. Regardless, they have optimised the Sapphire System for these two metals with quite a few features. One is closed-loop melt pool control, which improves part consistency. They claim that the system decreases the cost of parts by half of traditional method’s rates.
Featured image and video courtesy of Velo3D, retrieved via their website.