The qualification process confirmed that Equispheres’ aluminium materials could achieve a 13% faster build rate than standard aluminium powder with a standard parameter set and 33% faster throughput with a ‘productivity’ parameter set. Both parameter sets are also said to maintain similar tensile properties to standard aluminium powders.
Equispheres aluminium powders are produced with a process that creates highly uniform, spherical particles. In 2020, the company raised tens of millions of dollars to support the production of its materials, with commercial-scale reactors being brought online this year to meet surging market demand.
Trumpf, meanwhile, has a portfolio of metal 3D printing solutions, among which is the TruPrint 3000 powder bed fusion system. This platform is able to produce parts up to 300 millimetres in diameter and 400 millimetres in height, with a dual-laser configuration able to scan the machine’s entire build chamber in parallel. In the qualification of Equispheres aluminium powders, testing was conducted at 60-micron layers and achieved build rates of 164 cm3/h on a dual-laser system. The company also expects to release parameters for Equispheres’ aluminium powders on its other 3D printing machines.
“The characteristics of Equispheres’ powders will allow our customers to achieve better quality parts at higher build rates. By identifying this type of high-performing material and preparing the optimal parameters, we give our clients a competitive edge,” commented Tobias Kiesow, an application engineer with TRUMPF.
“We are very pleased that TRUMPF has quantified the improved performance that results from the pairing of its advanced additive manufacturing equipment and our unique powder. This combination will offer TruPrint users significant productivity increases,” added Evan Butler-Jones, Vice-President – Product & Strategy for Equispheres. “This work confirms that our powders contribute to substantially better build rates when used on modern, high-quality additive manufacturing systems.”
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