Digital manufacturing innovator VELO3D announced the commercial release of a manufacturing process for additively manufactured parts in Aluminum F357 on the company’s Sapphire metal 3D printing system.
The foundry-grade aluminum alloy, suitable for the laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) process, enables 3D printing of parts that have traditionally been manufactured using casting practices. There are other Aluminum alloys that are more commonly used in metal additive manufacturing, such as AlSi10Mg, but Aluminum F357 can be anodized and shares characteristics with A356, a widely used casting alloy.
“Aluminum F357 has already been certified for mission-critical applications—unlike some exotic alloys—so it was a logical addition to our materials portfolio,” states Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of VELO3D. “We will continue to add more compatible materials that enable customers to print parts they couldn’t before, yet with even better material properties than traditional manufacturing.”
The manufacturing process of Aluminum F357 for Sapphire was developed jointly with PWR, a global supplier of advanced cooling solutions to Formula 1, NASCAR, and other racing series, along with automotive, military, and aerospace industries.
VELO3D also offers SupportFree, a program enabling geometric freedom by eliminating the consideration of support structures for complex passageways, steep overhangs, and low angles. Coupled with its non-contact recoater, VELO3D’s printing process can produce the ultra-thin wall structures and high aspect ratios essential for a variety of flight-critical applications.
The Sapphire metal AM printer by VELO3D is now compatible with Titanium64, INCONEL alloy 718, and Aluminum F357. A material datasheet for Aluminum F357 can be downloaded here.