VELO3D Develops Process for 3D Printing Aluminum F357

CAMPBELL, CA, May 7, 2020 – 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.

These photos of 3D-printed components demonstrate various perspectives of the design freedom that VELO3D’s SupportFree capabilities offer when it comes to heat exchangers. Notice the ultra-thin features in the core (cross-section image, left). Such complexity is near-impossible to attain with existing AM technologies.

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. “We chose Aluminum F357 due to its ideal material properties to suit thermal performance, machining and weldability,” states Matthew Bryson, general manager for PWR.

“Our ability to print free-form and lightweight structures for heat transfer applications with our Sapphire system from VELO3D will further enhance performance and packaging optimization opportunities for our product range and provide significant value to our customers.”

VELO3D is well known for enabling geometric freedom through its patented SupportFree process, which eliminates 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 that are essential for a variety of flight-critical applications.

The company recently announced that a 1-meter tall system will be available in Q4 2020; for the first time with laser powder-bed fusion, meter-tall parts can be printed without support structures, creating new part opportunities for industrial 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; please complete this form if you would like to inquire about printing a prototype.

About VELO3D

VELO3D empowers companies to manufacture anything. Bringing together an integrated solution of software, hardware, and process-control innovation, VELO3D introduced the first SupportFree capability for 3D metal printing. This enables unlimited design innovation by reducing the need for support structures in metal additive manufacturing. The company’s Sapphire system is built with a semiconductor mindset on quality assurance, ensuring repeatability and dependability throughout serial manufacturing. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, VELO3D helps companies deliver immediate business impact by making the impossible, possible.

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