Trumpf Medium format machines for industrial-scale LMF production
Germany – At Formnext 2016, Trumpf was showcasing its new 3D printers, the Tru-Print 3000 and Tru-Print 5000.
These medium-format machines are based on laser metal fusion (LMF) technology, using lasers to generate complete parts layer by layer in a powder bed. The produced parts can measure up to 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height, the company says.
With a tool change cylinder concept, which allows the construction chamber and supply cylinders to be switched out quickly, and an industry-ready periphery, the machines are said to be geared towards a large-scale production of complex metal parts. Additionaly, with the Tru-Print 3000, Trumpf is aiming at completing the process chain for additive manufacturing.
The first link in the process chain is preparing the data for the 3D design and production program. With the "Tru-Tops Print with NX” software package, Trumpf is offering a software solution with a standardised user interface across systems. According to Trumpf, they now have industry-ready solutions that cover every aspect of additive manufacturing – from a powder feed that supplies the large internal powder container and additive manufacturing technology itself, to downstream tasks such as the unpacking and cleaning of the newly minted part.
Both the Tru-Print 3000 and Tru-Print 5000 systems can be used to manufacture complex metal parts out of powder. They may be made from any weldable material – such as various forms of steel, nickel-based alloys, titanium or aluminium, Trumpf explains.
The Tru-Print 3000 is equipped with two supply cylinders: Up to 75 l of powder are available for each job, enough powder to complete the entire manufacturing process without having to stop for refilling. If the powder were to run low, the 3D printer is designed so that the supply and overflow cylinders can be changed out without interrupting the manufacturing process. According to Trumpf, this reduces downtimes while also increasing the printer’s productivity.
Trumpf added an unpacking station to the production program. Thanks to the station’s safety gloves and sight protection, users don’t come into direct contact with the powder during unpacking and cleaning. Excess material ends up back in the sieve station, ensuring a safe and sealed powder cycle. According to Trumpf, customers benefit from the higher machine availability that results from the external unpacking.