VELO3D is expanding its 3D printing portfolio in a big way—literally. The California-based metal AM company has released the Sapphire XC 3D printer, which it describes as an “extra capacity” system with up to five times higher throughput compared to the original Sapphire system. The new large-format Sapphire XC also has the ability to reduce cost-per-part by up to 75%.
The new system is substantially larger than the Sapphire metal 3D printer, with a build volume of 600 x 550 mm (vs 315 x 400 mm). The Sapphire XC is also equipped with eight 1,000W lasers (compared to two in the original system), which enables much higher productivity and printing rates. Apart from these key differences, the new system bears many similarities to the Sapphire, particularly in terms of its architecture. For instance, it integrates the same optical-train design, recoater technology, gas-flow technology and metrology system. VELO3D adds that users of the Sapphire XC can expect similar material properties. The large-scale system is also controlled using the company’s Flow pre-print and Assure quality control software.
“Printing larger parts without the additive manufacturing constraints of support structures is highly attractive to many industrial end-users,” commented Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of VELO3D. “For the first time, customers will be able to 3D print uncompromised geometries, with the highest confidence in part quality, in a large-format system. Quality assurance with large scale components is critical because the economic impact of failed builds is very significant. We have demonstrated that our integrated solution is capable of producing a greater yield of high-quality parts, and that foundational technology will transfer to our new Sapphire XC.”
The Sapphire XC is now available for pre-order, and VELO3D expects shipments for the large-format metal AM system will begin in Q4 2021. It joins VELO3D’s existing portfolio of metal 3D printing systems, which also includes the Sapphire Gen 2 (more on this below) and Sapphire 1MZ, with a one-meter-tall build height. All the systems are based on the same laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process and are capable of the company’s innovative support-free printing.
In addition to unveiling the Sapphire XC, VELO3D has also revealed plans for Sapphire Gen 2, which comprises a software and hardware upgrade to the original Sapphire system. The upgrade will result in a productivity boost between 10-50% as well as an improvement in part-cost metrics. The Gen 2 upgrade will be available starting Q2 2021 and can be integrated into existing systems.