Luton-based Trumpf Ltd
, a world leader in sheet metal fabrication machinery and laser technology, recently launched the new series of its TruPrint 3000 3-D printing system. The medium-format machine uses powder-bed-based laser melting to produce parts with a diameter of up to 300mm and a height of up to 400mm.
It can handle all weldable materials including steels, nickel-based alloys, titanium and aluminium. Klaus Parey, managing director of Trumpf Additive Manufacturing, said: “We have improved key aspects of the TruPrint 3000 to tailor it even more closely to the quality requirements, certifications and production processes of various industries.”
“The new TruPrint 3000 can be equipped with a second laser that almost doubles its productivity. The multilaser option significantly reduces part costs – that is how we help our customers make the move into mass production.”
Two 500W lasers scan the machine’s entire build chamber in parallel. This makes production much faster and more efficient regardless of the number and geometries of the parts. With the Automatic Multilaser Alignment option, the system can automatically monitor the multilaser scan fields during the build stage and calibrate them to each other.
With each laser scanning a contour, the process does not lead to any kind of weld seams. This is what allows multilaser parts to meet such outstanding quality standards.
Trumpf engineers have transformed the movement of inert gas through the TruPrint 3000 leading to higher-quality results. The way in which it flows through the machine from back to front is now even steadier and more uniform. As well as boosting the quality of printed parts, this also allows the operator to remove excess powder from the part while it is still inside the machine. Medical device manufacturing
Previous models required the operator to take the part out and remove the powder at a separate station. The new machine is designed to process the powder in a shielded environment, using an inert gas to prevent the powder from becoming contaminated during the build. This is a major advantage for sensitive industries such as medical device manufacturing.
The new TruPrint 3000 also comes with a melt pool monitoring function. This safeguards the quality of the part during 3-D printing by automatically monitoring melt pool emissions and other metrics during the process. Special sensors in the laser optics continuously monitor the melt pool.
A special piece of software compares these readings to the figures for a reference workpiece stored in its database and presents a graphical display of any deviations, such as a melt pool that is too cold or too hot. This gives machine operators the information they need to detect any errors and take whatever action may be necessary.
Different industries and components have different requirements, which is why Trumpf offers such flexible production solutions.
Mr Parey concluded: “The new TruPrint 3000 lets us tailor the process chain to perfectly match each customer’s requirements. As well as the solution outlined above for powder removal within the machine, the TruPrint 3000 also offers an exchangeable cylinder principle with external unpacking and depowdering stations.”
“This has several advantages, allowing the machine to better meet the customer’s specific needs, respond to growing production volumes and keep downtime to a minimum by working in parallel with production.”