Knust-Godwin (Katy TX), a precision tool and component manufacturer, has placed an order for the world’s tallest production metal-powder laser additive manufacturing system, exceeding the build height of other laser additive manufacturing systems. Digital manufacturing innovator VELO3D (Campbell, CA) is launching a next-generation Sapphire industrial 3D metal printer with a vertical axis of 1 meter. The system will ship in Q4 2020.
Knust-Godwin has been providing high-quality precision production machining services to produce parts for oil and gas applications over a combined 100 years to companies throughout the world. The company offers full-service manufacturing engineering solutions to conquer the most-difficult machining challenges in the industry. Its capabilities include direct-metal laser sintering, laser overlay, and e-beam welding.
The immediate part opportunity that Knust-Godwin will address with the meter-tall Sapphire printer is a part for oilfield drilling that is currently manufactured by more than five subtractive processes. Additive manufacturing enables consolidation of such traditional processes, improving part quality and part performance.
“Our vision at VELO3D is to enable end users to build whatever they want without the constraints of yesterday’s standards,” says Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of VELO3D. “One of those constraints is the build envelope. A meter-tall system enables industrial applications that couldn’t be built before, especially for oilfield service tools and flight hardware. Best of all, it will still utilize our highly patented SupportFree process, in situ calibration, and process control for quality assurance.”
“There tends to be a tradeoff between large-format additive machines and part quality; VELO3D is attractive to us because of their semiconductor heritage and engineering disciplines around process control and metrology. We have confidence that we’ll be able to build mission-critical industrial parts without compromises made to part quality,” comments Mike Corliss, VP of Technology at Knust-Godwin.
The technical features of the meter-tall Sapphire printer include a 315-mm-diameter build plate, dual 1 kW lasers, in situ optical calibration, and many of the same characteristics of the existing Sapphire machine.