AMS Spring 2023

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Adds VELO3D’s Sapphire 3D Printer to Its Metals Portfolio

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In order to help companies tackle more difficult projects with metal 3D printing, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (SDM), a Stratasys subsidiary and one of North America’s largest additive and conventional manufacturing service providers, has expanded its additive metals capacity by adding the Sapphire 3D printing system, and Flow software, by California-based VELO3D.

SDM, which completes a wide range of 3D printed production parts each year for multiple industries, has made many investments in 3D printing over the years in order to meet customer demand, which is always growing when it comes to metals. With the addition to its portfolio of the Sapphire laser fusion system, which definitely pushes the bounds of metal AM, the service provider can offer more efficiency in creating better designs.

“The Sapphire system from VELO3D is an important part of advancing our capabilities to include using additive metals in applications and geometries previously challenging to 3D print. This is a natural step in building our service portfolio, and we are excited to take on projects with more complexity to drive further adoption of serialized production additive manufacturing and push the boundaries of 3D metal printing,” said Kent Firestone, the CEO of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.

Sapphire laser fusion system

Back in 2015, VELO3D raised $22 million to create a metal 3D printing system that was revolutionary in terms of the design freedom it offered. This is a true manufacturing technology, as the laser fusion printer makes it possible to fabricate complex part geometries, thanks to its Intelligent Fusion technology, close-loop control, in-situ metrology, and minimal support structures, which are also generated automatically. The Sapphire system enables large internal openings up to 40 mm, and overhangs below 5°.

The system’s built-in tools include a slice composer, simulated print predictions, process review, and per-surface process application, which makes it possible to 3D print complex metal components with extra quality control. The Sapphire 3D printer also offers microstructure control as one of its many benefits, and as VELO3D‘s Chief Product Officer Stefan Zschiegner told us this summer, 3D printed parts produced on the system meet and exceed metal manufacturing density requirements of over 99.9%.

The company’s Flow software is driven by a powerful simulation engine, and lowers print preparation time while also ensuring predictable outcomes. Together, the software that accompanies the Sapphire solution can ensure high quality metal 3D printed parts.

“The Sapphire system from VELO3D enables a new level of manufacturing above and beyond current metal additive manufacturing systems, and we’re excited that Stratasys Direct has chosen to add this platform to their fleet. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is a leader in metal additive manufacturing, advancing critical applications across many industries. Together, we look forward to pushing the boundaries of what is possible and solving the most complex customer problems with support free metal AM,” said VELO3D‘s CEO Benny Buller.

SDM anticipated that the market demand would continue growing, which is why it decided to invest in VELO3D‘s Sapphire 3D printing system and Flow software and expand its own metal AM production capacity. This new addition will help the company continue to support customer applications that require complex metal parts, such as in the medical, energy, and aerospace fields.

If you’re interested in learning more the advanced metal 3D printing capabilities that will be available through the VELO3D Sapphire, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s, you’ll definitely want to register for an exclusive webinar that will take place at 2 pm EST on Tuesday, April 30th.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

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