Australian metal 3D printing company Aurora Labs has announced an exciting breakthrough in the development of its Large Format Technology (LFT). The titanium 3D printing process, which has been in development for some time and promises radically faster build rates than existing titanium AM systems, recently demonstrated its ability to 3D print complex parts at a speed of 15.88 kg/day—roughly eight times faster than market speed.
The news marks a significant step towards the refinement and ultimate commercialization of Aurora Labs’ LFT platform.
In its test prints, Aurora Labs printed complex parts—that is to say, parts with curves and lattices—at a print rate of 662 g/hour (the equivalent of 15.88 kg/day). The prints were completed using the company’s Alpha model, its first functioning LFT machine, which has a build volume of 200 x 200 x 200 mm.
As it develops its LFT technology further, Aurora Labs says it plans to increase the build volume of the machine and scale up the print speed to 1000 kg/day. This speed, it clarifies, will be achievable through scaling, “rather than further improving the fundamental technology.”
“Possibly, more than any other step in Aurora Labs’ history, this one is the most important, as it proves out at a fundamental level the potential for this technology to revolutionize the metal manufacturing market,” commented David Budge, Managing Director of Aurora Labs. “The nature of the Large Format Technology and its ability to be scaled allows us to understand at this stage in the development cycle the potential for this technology to be able to print at our target rate of 1000 kg/day.”
The “market speed” that Aurora Labs is currently comparing its still-in-development process to was determined by looking at the standard speed of comparable machines that print titanium. This rate is said to be around 81.7 g/hour (1.96 kg/day), making the current iteration of LFT eight times faster than market speed.
Aurora Labs’ ultimate goal is to offer the metal manufacturing market a viable (and cost competitive) additive alternative to traditional manufacturing processes.
“Moving forward, [Aurora Labs] expects to have the pre-production model of the printer ready for sale to one of its industry partners before the end of the calendar year,” added Budge. “Aurora will now focus on scaling the technology and increasing speeds to reach the targeted 1,000 kg/day for its full-sized large format printer.”
According to the company’s LFT development timeline, the next stages will be to:
- Produce pre-production models for industry partners
- Obtain CE certification
- Start full commercial production of its Medium Format Printer (MFP) and start LFP