As VELO3D continues to gain momentum with the impending release of the next-generation Sapphire 3D printer , they already have their first major customer lined up. Knust-Godwin , a precision-tool and component manufacturer headquartered in Katy, Texas, will be the first order to produce parts related to an oil and gas application.
Ready to ship in the fourth quarter of this year, the newest Sapphire industrial 3D metal printer measures one meter in height and features the tallest build-chamber size known, along with the largest closed-chamber system–meant to be used in a variety of critical applications such as oil and gas, aerospace, and other production environments that are gas regulated, expertly controlled, and compatible with nickel-based alloys.
In creating the Sapphire 3D production printer—along with accompanying software and quality assurance systems—the VELO3D team set out to raise the bar higher within high-performance metal 3D printing and the ability to create parts previously thought impossible, along with accelerating industrial fabrication overall.
“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.”
As the first Sapphire customer, the team at Knust-Godwin will be 3D printing a part meant for oilfield drilling. With long-term experience in other applications too, such as geophysical/seismic, semiconductor, and medical, Knust-Godwin offers manufacturing solutions for their customers that span from the concept stage to full production—specializing in CNC turning and milling.
Also taking advantage of the benefits offered in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, Knust-Godwin will see production of this component consolidated and streamlined—rather than requiring over five subtractive processes. Even better, both quality of the part and performance will be improved with use of the next-generation Sapphire, featuring many of the same characteristics of the existing hardware, but also:
- A 315mm-diameter build plate
- Dual 1kW lasers
- In-situ optical calibration
- Build height exceeding that of the SLM 800 and the GE Additive X Line 2000R
“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.”
VELO3D continues to be one of the most dynamic developers in metal 3D printing, continually innovating and expanding for their customers’ best interests, partnering to create hardware for components like a supersonic flight demonstrator , qualifying metal 3D printing for end-use parts for industry leaders, and continuing to tackle design and build limitations .
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[Source / Images: VELO3D]