Bike3D announced on September 8 that M300 tool steel, an ultra-low carbon alloy that offers very high strength and hardness, is qualified for use in Sapphire printers.
The company says it has already seen interest from automakers in the alloy for use in high-pressure die-cast inserts, injection molding and other types of tooling.
“By qualifying M300 tool steel for use in our printers, we are able to serve entirely new industries, like automotive and tooling, that can take advantage of Velo3D’s advanced ability to print channels high-quality, large-diameter internals for their applications,” said Greg Brown. , Vice President of Velo3D Technology.
Velo3D expects companies that use its technology to be able to build stronger products, improve machining throughput, and see lower manufacturing costs. He says his end-to-end solution is well suited to take advantage of M300 tool steel due to the quality of its surface finishes in complex, large-diameter internal cooling channels.
Cooling channels can extend tooling life but can be difficult to fabricate when using conventional methods. Many metal 3D printers can print smaller diameter holes, attempting to create large channels can create roughness and susceptibility to cracking.
The company’s Sapphire XC 1MZ offers customers a build volume of 600 x 1000mm. According to Velo3D, it has one of the largest build volumes compared to similar printers from major manufacturers, which Velo3D says makes it better suited to meet the demands of industries that use the largest inserts in M300 tool steel, such as automotive.
Velo3D claims to have seen strong demand for Sapphire printers using M300 tool steel in the Sapphire and Sapphire XC platforms. The company expects to begin system shipments as early as the fourth quarter of this year.
Two Velo3D metal printers were recently purchased by Hermeusa developer of hypersonic aircraft for defense and commercial applications, which will be used for Hermeus’ Mach 5 Chimera engine and Quarterhorse aircraft.
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