Airbus Subsidiary Rings in the Holidays with Farsoon’s Four-Laser 3D Printer

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In a strategic move to improve its production capabilities, German-based manufacturing firm APWORKS, a subsidiary of aerospace giant Airbus (EPA: AIR), has chosen Farsoon’s (SHA: 688433) FS422M-4 3D printer to bolster its high-quality, complex metal parts production, especially for aerospace and automotive applications. Farsoon’s medium-large format metal 3D printer has four lasers, quadrupling fabrication productivity. Delivered just before Christmas, this first Farsoon machine for APWORKS not only meets their growing production needs but also kicks off a broader partnership with Farsoon focused on innovation, production capacity, and sustainable, high-quality manufacturing.

A key focus of this partnership is the qualification of Scalmalloy on the FS422M-4 3D printer. Scalmalloy is a trademarked high-strength aluminum alloy known for its exceptional lightweight and high-performance characteristics. It is particularly valuable in industries where weight reduction without compromising strength is crucial. Developed by APWORKS, this material is tailored for additive manufacturing (AM) applications.

Primarily used in aerospace, motorsport, automotive, and other high-tech industries, Scalmalloy offers a unique combination of lightweight properties and mechanical strength. Its application is increasingly relevant in producing parts for spacecraft, cycling, robotics, and marine equipment. With the FS422M-4, APWORKS aims to streamline the production of Scalmalloy parts, enriching the material’s accessibility and usability across these sectors. Selected by APWORKS in November 2023, the Farsoon FS422M-4 is set to play a pivotal role in the company’s push towards more sustainable and efficient manufacturing processes.

Production Shift

Jon Meyer, CEO of APWORKS, remarked, “We are very excited to take this step with FARSOON. We believe that it will enable us to scale our production of high-quality Scalmalloy parts in the most economical way possible. For the last ten years, we have focused on developing applications of Metal Additive Manufacturing which add value for our customers. We design and produce products with the highest performance and quality, supporting customers across a wide range of industries.

Farsoon FS422M-4. Image courtesy of Farsoon.

Known for its substantial printing area (425 mm x 425 mm x 550 mm) and four laser technology, the FS422M-4 laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) system aligns perfectly with APWORKS’s requirements for high-quality serial production. The FS422M is a second-generation metal printer designed under the CAMS (Continuous Additive Manufacturing Solution) concept, offering continuous production capability. Also, like all Farsoon machines, the FS422M-4 is an open platform that offers the user a high degree of control to tailor processing parameters for industrial application requirements and cost-competitive metal AM.

However, Farsoon’s FS422M-4 system is part of its broader success story. The Chinese-based company recently announced a significant achievement, having sold 1000 systems to global customers by the end of November 2023. Notably, in the past three years, half of these sales have been medium-large format machines measuring 400mm and above.

3D Milestone

The decision by APWORKS to choose Farsoon’s FS422M-4 underscores a trend in the industry towards larger format, multi-laser systems. These systems offer greater efficiency and productivity, key factors in making metal additive manufacturing more economically viable for a broader range of applications.

According to Meyer, “Our goal has always been to expand the scope of Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) applications, which has generally been limited by the economics of the process. The total cost of ownership, coupled with the productivity of the AM systems we use is the biggest factor in defining which application areas we can add value in. We believe that the Farsoon FS422M-4 machine offers us a step change in overall cost of ownership and productivity, enabling us to target applications which were previously not economically attractive. Through this cooperation with Farsoon we intend to further scale the scope of our business, empowering more customers to reap the benefits that this technology has to offer.”

The partnership between APWORKS and Farsoon is more than a business transaction; it’s a strategic alliance set to contribute significantly to the metal AM landscape in Europe. As Meyer concludes, this cooperation is poised to “empower more customers to reap the benefits that this technology offers,” setting a new standard in the industry for innovation, efficiency, and quality.

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