First order to produce parts for an oil and gas application.

VELO3D has released the next-generation Sapphire industrial 3D metal printer. With a vertical axis of 1 meter, the new printer is compatible with nickel-based alloys and would be the tallest laser-powder machine of the market.

According to the American manufacturer, the new 3D printer would exceed the build height of both the SLM 800 and the GE Additive X Line 2000R. Apart from the 315mm-diameter build plate, dual 1kW lasers, most features of the new Sapphire remain similar to the flagship product.

“Our vision at VELO3D is to enable end users to build whatever they want without the constraints of yesterday’s standards,” states Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of VELO3D. “One of those constraints is the build envelope. A meter-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 utilize our highly patented SupportFree process, in-situ calibration, and process control for quality assurance.”

VELO3D has already proved its technology’s capabilities to move legacy parts into AM without redesign. After many years in stealth mode, the company quickly gained momentum in the industry and was one of the manufacturers that had announced the largest sales volume by the end of 2019.

Given that credibility and the innovations that followed, the company’s new technology has already convinced a  component manufacturer Knust-Godwin and there is no doubt, more will follow.

Once its system installed in Q4 2020, Knust-Godwin will be able to overcome challenges in the oil and gas industry. The company aims at improving part quality and part performance by manufacturing a part for oilfield drilling that is currently manufactured by more than five subtractive processes. 

There tends to be a trade-off between large-format additive machines and part quality; VELO3D is attractive to us because of their semiconductor heritage and engineering disciplines around process control and metrology,” 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 commercial availability of the system is planned for the end of 2020. 

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