An robust metal part 3D printed by VELO3D [Source: Fabbaloo]
A press release from California-based VELO3D indicates the company has been growing very significantly.
I hesitate to call them a startup company, but they’ve only been known for a short while, having emerged from stealth mode only a year ago. We caught them on our radar in 2017, and had to wait a year to find out what they were producing in their labs.
Since then we had a chat with their founder and CEO, Benny Buller, to learn a lot more about their unusual 3D printing process. While they use the familiar powder bed / laser approach for metal 3D printing, the VELO3D process does it in a rather different manner.
A highly complex metal 3D print by VELO3D — made without support structures! [Source: Fabbaloo]
Their Sapphire metal 3D printer is capable of producing incredibly detailed metal 3D prints that are essentially impossible to do produce on conventional powder bed / laser systems. This is due to their proprietary recoating process that does not disturb the prints, as well as their highly sophisticated process instrumentation and powerful software suite, “Flow”.
“VELO3D is best known for its ability to build low-angle geometries without support structures. Where existing powder-bed AM machines will typically require supports for angles below 45 degrees, the Sapphire 3D printer can handle angles below 10 degrees, enabling geometries to be built that were once considered impossible. It can also build large inner diameters up to 40 mm (1.57”) without need of supports, as compared to 10 mm with existing metal AM systems.”
An incredibly intricate metal 3D print by VELO3D — made without support structures! [Source: Fabbaloo]
The consequence of their technology is to enable metal 3D printing that is largely support structure-free. This is an incredible advantage in the marketplace, as it means clients will spend considerably less to post-process their prints as far less support structures need to removed.
Additionally, thermal management considerations are simplified, as the lack of metal support structures makes for less analysis of thermal flows during and after the print.
These key features seem to be attractive to the marketplace, as the company announced their sales figures for the past quarter. They claim “record growth”, with sales of US$15M. That’s up substantially over their previous three quarters’ results of “only” US$9M.
Their first year of sales has totaled an amazing US$24M, an amount any first year operation would be very proud to obtain.
Based on the print quality and ease of use, it seems likely the company will continue to expand their sales in their second year of market operations.
If you’re considering a metal 3D printer, you should investigate VELO3D’s offerings.