Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Intech Launches iFusion LF Series of Large-Format Metal 3D Printers

ST Medical Devices

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Bengaluru-based Intech Additive Solutions Pvt Ltd. (Intech) is, according to its website, is one of the first metal 3D printing service providers in India; an OEM that successfully develops and manufactures laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) metal 3D printers. Two years ago, the company purchased a MetalFAB1 system from Additive Industries, which helped Intech expand its business as it was now able to scale for volume. Now, it’s launching the iFusion LF series of large-format metal 3D printers, which is a direct result of research and development efforts by Intech over the last four years.

This metal AM range was completely developed and built at the company’s facility, and Intech says it offers “a high build rate for cost effective manufacturing.” With a 450 x 450 x 450 mm build volume, the new system is good for applications in the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as tool and die and general engineering needs.

“Indian companies have a huge interest in 3D Printers that build parts larger than 400mm. All these machines must be imported and are prohibitively expensive,” explained Intech’s Vice President of Hardware Sales Pradeep Nair, who joined the company this summer. “There are other issues like long lead times for support and spares, making Indian companies ultimately settle for the less expensive mid-sized machines. The ‘iFusion LF Series’ amply fills this void. The system supports a wide range of materials like Aluminium, Titanium, Steel, Inconel and Cobalt Chrome addressing the needs of industries such as Aerospace, Automotive, General Engineering, Tool & Die and Medical Market segments in India and abroad.”

The large-format 3D printers in the new iFusion LF series starts with a single 500W laser system, and can also be upgraded to a four-laser system with either 700W or 1000W lasers. The systems are integrated with the Intech’s own AMBuilder build preparation metal AM software suite, which has an easy-to-understand guided workflow to help users navigate the various stages of build preparation. For instance, with iFusion LF’s generous build volume, parts can be nested and stacked in a single run, which definitely increases productivity and lowering the part per cost; AMBuilder can help you position the parts, optimize the orientation, generate supports, and more.

AMBuilder workflow

Intech says that its iFusion LF series printers offer durability “at a competitive MHR and lowest cost per part (CPP),” and don’t require a large investment right off the bat. The company also announced that it has signed an agreement with Poeir Jets, the first company from India that designs, develops, and manufactures propulsion systems for micro-jet engines in unmanned aerial Solutions, unmanned aerial applications, and heavy-lift drones.

Poeir Jets will be using Intech’s iFusion LF 3D printers to make larger parts for its heavy-lift drones.

Part printed on the iFusion LF

“The 3D printed parts from the iFusion series performed exceptionally well during the testing phases and proved to be of production quality. Intech’s 3D printers helped us achieve the required scale for commercialising manufacturing and ensuring lower cost per part. We are now moving to printing parts on Intech’s LF series of machines,” said K.S. Swami, the Director of Poeir Jets. “The LF’s larger build envelope suits our needs to print parts for our engine and Hybrid Drones. This, coupled with the lower costs compared to imported systems, local spares and support availability among other things, make it an automatic choice for us.”

Intech’s main objective is to help further develop an ecosystem in India for industrialization of 3D printing. So if Poeir Jets has good things to say about its new iFusion LF series, the word could spread to other aerospace companies, which definitely helps with the company’s goal.

“The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has identified Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a critical focus area. The Government plans to promote various AM sector verticals including machines, materials, software, and design methodologies to leverage new and untapped business opportunities. This initiative will prepare the Indian manufacturing sector for Industry 4.0 and evolve an integrated approach towards this emerging technology. Intech’s range of metal 3D printers is indigenously designed and manufactured for both the Indian and global markets. In this regard it is “Made in India, Built for the World” and captures the essence of the Aatmanirbhar initiative of the Indian Government,” said Intech’s CEO Sridhar Balaram. “We have an excellent team in place and are confident of enhancing and growing the Indian AM ecosystem with our range of metal 3D printers, and end-to-end metal AM solutions.”

(Source/Images: Intech)

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