Metal AM company Velo3D has announced a partnership with PWR Advanced Cooling Technology to develop materials for its Sapphire 3D printing system and to serially produce heat exchangers. Headquartered in Australia, but with offices in the U.S. and UK, PWR is a global supplier of cooling solutions for F1, NASCAR and other racing series as well as automotive OEMs and the military and aerospace industries.
By working together, Velo3D and PWR aim to establish new standards in the production of heat-transfer parts for racing and industrial cooling applications. As part of their agreement, PWR will acquire and install a Sapphire 3D printer, making it the first in the Asia Pacific region to adopt the metal AM platform. As mentioned, both companies will also work together to develop aluminum alloy designs with thinner and more complex heat exchange features and better surface finishes.
“PWR chose Velo3D after extensive testing,” said Matthew Bryson, General Manager of Engineering at PWR. “The Velo3D Sapphire printer demonstrated the ability to produce class-leading thin-wall capabilities and high-quality surfaces with zero porosity. Velo3D and PWR share a passion for pushing the limits of technology to deliver truly disruptive, class-leading, products. We are a natural fit and look forward to building a strong partnership going forward.”
“Heat exchanger weight and pressure-drop characteristics have a huge impact on performance and are significant factors in all motorsport categories,” he continued. “Using additive manufacturing to print lightweight structures, enhancing performance with freedom-of-design, we have the ability to further optimize these characteristics to the customer’s requirements whilst providing the necessary cooling. The broad design capabilities and extremely high print accuracy of the Velo3D Sapphire 3D metal printer will help us optimize these various performance attributes.”
Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of Velo3D, commented on the partnership, saying: “Our expanding relationship with PWR will be one of innovation and new performance benchmarks in heat exchangers. PWR’s history of high-quality products, world-class design and testing, and customer success in the grueling environments of motorsport, make our joint endeavor an especially exciting one. We created Velo3D to help industrial end-users of 3D metal printing truly realize geometric freedom. We know that our technology can help PWR meet new and evolving design goals in ultra-thin-wall cooling structures.”
Velo3D released its Sapphire metal 3D printer in August 2018, intriguing the AM industry with its promise of support-free manufacturing. In recent months, the company has announced partnerships with a number of innovative companies, including Boom Supersonic, which will use the Sapphire system to 3D print parts for its XB-1 demonstrator aircraft and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. The California-based company also recently revealed it had taken its largest order yet from an existing aerospace customer.
The economic benefits that the Sapphire system unlocks include increased revenue streams from new, highly innovative designs; the manufacture of customized parts in higher volumes; and the efficient use of additive manufacturing for direct part replacement (AM without DfAM).