In 2015, family-owned German industrial machining and tooling equipment manufacturer Trumpf got back in the metal 3D printing game when it debuted the TruPrint 1000 laser metal fusion (LMF) 3D printer at formnext. The company, which also develops TruLaser metal deposition tools, recently announced a strategic alliance with Sintavia to work on machine qualifications for aerospace applications; the agreement also involves the installation of Trumpf’s TruPrint 3000 LMF 3D printer at Sintavia’s Florida manufacturing facility. Trumpf is at formnext in Frankfurt this week, and officially launched its new, larger laser additive manufacturing system, the TruPrint 5000, which the company claims is the fastest, most productive medium-format 3D printer in the world.
According to the company, “The three lasers are fitted with optics specially designed by Trumpf, enabling them to operate simultaneously at any point in the system’s construction chamber. As a result, they can generate components much faster and more efficiently, irrespective of the number and geometry of the components.”
The TruPrint 5000 LMF system is built around custom scanner optics and three 500 W fiber lasers, and 3D prints metal components at speeds high enough to be considered for series production. It is highly automated, and the company indicates that the 3D printer can make complex parts, up to 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm high, from all weldable materials. The TruPrint 5000 was recently tested out in a collaboration with Bosch Rexroth and Heraeus Additive Manufacturing to redesign a servo valve for series production.
“This involves supplementing conventionally manufactured pre-forms with 3D-printed and laser-cut parts for cost-effective manufacture of the valves. The servo valves printed by TruPrint 5000 are considerably lighter and more compact, and the optimized channel guides reduce throttle losses and increase energy efficiency,” explained Trumpf.
Scaling up to high speeds for volume production of 3D printed metal components is a major challenge in the industry, and according to Trumpf, its TruPrint 5000 3D printer’s triple-laser approach is “part of the solution.”
The company says that its three scanner-guided sources can operate at any point inside the LMF construction chamber of its TruPrint 5000, which makes the 3D printer more productive and fast than other multi-laser systems. In addition, by automatically calculating the ideal laser paths, these sources are able to determine multiple paths before an individual component’s outer contours are even completed by a single laser beam, offering what Trumpf calls a “seamless finish.”With the release of the TruPrint 5000, Trumpf has also revealed that it intends to use its LMF technology to become a major player in the industry, at a time when manufacturers in the aerospace and automotive sectors are scurrying to form partnerships with important equipment providers.
“All our new 3D printers are selling well, and we’re gaining increasing market shares in various sectors. Accordingly, we will most definitely be further investing in this highly promising field,” Trumpf CTO Peter Leibinger said in a release.
“If the market for 3D printers continues to develop in line with current indications, then we see an opportunity for our company to achieve additional revenues of half a billion euros in a timescale of five to seven years. We want to gain a leading role in the market and secure a market share of around 20 per cent in the medium term.”
Trumpf has some major competition in the likes of 3D Systems, SLM Solutions, EOS, and Concept Laser, but says that its major advantages lie in the company’s global service network and ability to internally source important laser and optics technologies.
Leibinger noted, “We are the only provider anywhere in the world to combine all these competencies under the one roof. As such, we are a one-stop shop for our customers.”
You can visit Trumpf at formnext this week, and get a look at its new TruPrint 5000 metal 3D printing system, at booth E50 in Hall 3.0. Don’t forget, 3DPrint.com is also at the formnext event in Frankfurt, working hard to bring you all the latest news from the showroom floor. Follow us on social media to get all of the latest news and announcements.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Source: Optics.org / Images: Trumpf]