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Extra Large Format 3D Metal Printer With Imbedded Quality Control Launched

VELO3D has announced the expansion of its systems portfolio to include Sapphire XC, an ‘Extra Capacity’ large-format printer that will increase production throughput by 5x and reduce cost-per-part by up to 75%, when compared to the existing Sapphire system.

The company also announced plans to roll-out Sapphire Gen 2, which will be a software and hardware upgrade to the current system. Users can expect an improvement of anywhere between 10-50% in productivity and part-cost metrics when compared to the current Sapphire system. The Sapphire Gen 2 upgrade will be available to retrofit on all installed systems starting in Q2 2021.

The Sapphire product family now includes Sapphire Gen 2, the 1-meter tall Sapphire 1MZ and Sapphire XC. The machine line-up all use the laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) process with patented capabilities to print without consideration of support structures. Sapphire systems specifically address the aerospace, power generation, and energy markets’ unmet needs for quality-assured manufacturing of uncompromised geometries.

“Printing larger parts without the additive manufacturing constraints of support structures is highly attractive to many industrial end-users,” said Benny Buller, founder, and CEO of VELO3D. “For the first time, customers will be able to 3D-print uncompromised geometries, with the highest confidence in part quality, in a large format system. Quality assurance with large scale components is critical because the economic impact of failed builds is very significant. We have demonstrated that our integrated solution is capable of producing a greater yield of high-quality parts, and that foundational technology will transfer to our new Sapphire XC.”

 Sapphire XC Features

  • Larger build volume: Build volume 600mm x 550 mm (compared to 315mm x 400 mm in Sapphire)
  • Higher productivity for production: 8 lasers x 1,000W each (compared to 2 lasers x 1,000W in Sapphire)
  • Integrated manufacturing process: Fully integrated with Flow pre-print software and Assure quality control software
  • Consistent architecture: Utilizes the same optical-train design, recoater technology, gas-flow technology, and metrology as the current Sapphire. Users can also expect similar material properties as Sapphire
  • Qualified material alloys: Compatible alloys include Aluminum F357, Titanium 6AI-4V, INCONEL 718 and HASTELLOY X

The imbedded Assure quality control system, enables visibility into every layer of the AM build through real-time, multi-sensor, physics-based excursion detection algorithms. Assure helps users understand if machine health is optimal before a build begins. Assure monitors optics, sensors, consumables, and powder bed quality, and displays the data directly on its dashboard.

Assure enables engineers to track the quality and progress of Sapphire machines real-time. Assure substantiates the part quality needed for volume production by predicting bulk material properties, in real-time, for each part and automatically generates a build report that can form the foundation of a Certificate of Compliance. This report offers full traceability of system performance and any predicted part defects during the build.

Sapphire XC Pre-Order

Delivery of Sapphire XC will begin in Q4 2021. The current pre-orders of 13 units will consume all available manufacturing slots for Q4 ’21 and most of Q1 ’22.

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