VELO3D has just announced a partnership with Honeywell Aerospace to qualify its Sapphire metal 3D printing system for the production of aircraft components. The partners will leverage Honeywell Aerospace’s extensive experience using additive manufacturing for aircraft part production to qualify VELO3D’s technology.
As part of the qualification effort, VELO3D is installing a Sapphire system at Honeywell Aerospace’s facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The metal 3D printer, which was released in August 2018, is an end-to-end AM system that addresses many of the challenges inherent in powder-based metal AM, including design limitations, process control and consistency through its combined hardware and software solution.
The Sapphire AM system was chosen by Honeywell Aerospace for its ability to build highly complex geometries without the need for support structures, which leads to faster production cycles and reduced costs.
“We are qualifying VELO3D’s Sapphire system with the aim of printing geometries that can’t be fabricated on existing 3D metal printers,” explained Dr. Söeren Wiener, Senior Director of Technology and Advanced Operations for Honeywell Aerospace. “Their technology will help Honeywell develop new production-part applications while also meeting our material requirements for qualification. We intend to qualify this equipment through repeatability testing in our production environment, including build and post-processing, to generate an acceptable set of material property data and qualification of flight hardware.”
At its Phoenix facility, Honeywell Aerospace will first focus on qualifying the Sapphire system for Inconel, a nickel-based alloy with extreme temperature resistance. As part of the qualification, VELO3D will assist Honeywell Aerospace in the development of parameters sets to optimize material properties.
“The geometric enablement we are able to offer customers like Honeywell Aerospace allows them to print what used to be ‘impossible parts’ and, yet, do it with a strong business case of improved cost and better quality,” added Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of VELO3D. “We are excited to partner with Honeywell to demonstrate that 3D metal printing is a viable production manufacturing method for a wider range of end-use applications.”
The qualification process is expected to move ahead rapidly, as the partners say it will likely be complete by the 3rd quarter of 2020.