German high-tech company TRUMPF unveiled a new 3D printer at Frankfurt’s Formnext on Tuesday. The TruPrint 2000 is intended for medical engineering and other applications with lofty standards and quality demands. Inert gas now flows through the system back to front, which enhances the quality of the printed parts. Another new development is the ability to remove excess powder from the component directly in the system rather than taking it out and unpacking it at a separate station. This saves time when dealing with the smaller build chambers of 3D printers such as the TruPrint 2000. The machine processes the printing powder in an inert gas environment, which prevents contaminants from infiltrating the powder circuit and is a key advantage for applications such as sensitive medical devices.
“With the TruPrint 2000, we are showing that TRUMPF puts the needs of AM-focused industries first – that is, the aerospace, automotive, mechanical engineering, tool and mold making, and the medical and dental engineering industries. The TruPrint 2000 enables manufacturers to take advantage of additive manufacturing’s benefits – particularly medical and dental engineering companies,” says Klaus Parey, managing director TRUMPF Additive Manufacturing.
The TruPrint 2000 features a multilaser design with two 300-watt lasers working in tandem , which illuminate the 3D printer’s entire build chamber to boost the system’s productivity. Using same approach as for the TruPrint 1000, TRUMPF reduced the TruPrint 2000 laser’s focal diameter to 55 micrometers to print components with smoother surfaces, enhanced quality and intricate grid structures. The TruPrint 2000 is capable of printing parts out of titanium, a material that figures prominently in medical devices. “The machine’s new design brings the benefits of lean manufacturing to users. It requires fewer add-ons, so the entry-level investment is lower for companies that want to get into AM,” says Florian Krist, product manager at TRUMPF Additive Manufacturing.
Other benefits of the machine include automated powder bed and melt pool quality monitoring, notification in the event of an error, and an end-to-end documentation trail that corroborates the quality of the printing process and is a key prerequisite for the additive manufacturing of medical devices.
TRUMPF has already used the new machine to print interbody cages – implants which add stability to the spine. These can be inserted as a placeholder between two vertebrae to restore the vertebral segment’s natural height. The small focal diameter of the lasers lends itself to fabricating these intricate structures. The system can produce 19 spinal implants in 24 hours. Other fields of application include dental as well as tool and mold making.