Support is a thing of the past Trumpf shows material-saving 3D printing without support structures
A new software for Trumpf 3D printers manages almost without support structures, as the Ditzingen-based company will demonstrate at EMO Hannover 2023.
Users who needed additive manufacturing of metal parts previously had to print support structures as well in order to be able to build the resulting components stably on the base plate. Trumpf has now improved the Trutops Print 3D printing software, however, it says. Users can now print components with extreme overhangs of up to 15 degrees. And without support structures, as the Ditzingen-based company emphasises. The company is presenting this innovation at the world's leading trade fair for production technology, EMO, in Hanover. The new functions in the software save construction time and material. Additive manufacturing without support structures means that the parts hardly have to be reworked at all, the company adds. Trumpf thus creates components that were not feasible before, such as the near-net-shape production of internal cooling channels with large diameters, which are important for injection moulds. Furthermore, it dissipates heat from the exposed part to prevent component distortion due to internal stresses. Even with materials that are difficult to process (such as stainless steel), this innovation makes 3D printing possible in many cases without support structures.
Improved Trumpf software expands the limits of 3D printing
In 3D printing, Trumpf wants to control as precisely as possible at which point and in what time the material should be liquid and hard again. The trick is to avoid residual stress and overheating in the overhang area by using the right exposure strategies. With the improved Trutops Print software, however, the 3D printer exposes different areas of the component with the optimal strategy in each case. This is the reason why there is hardly any need for support structures. And the improved gas flow of the new Trumpf 3D printers ensures uniform process conditions.
Users from all industries benefit from 3D printing without support structures. This is because support-free printing can show its strengths particularly in components with large cavities or with overhangs that are difficult to reach. Examples include tanks, heat exchangers, hydraulic blocks and tool inserts for plastic injection moulding.
Now 3D printing is becoming profitable in many areas after all
The new type of 3D printing makes it possible to create components that would not fulfil their intended purpose with support structures. Application scenarios include additively manufactured radial compressors or impellers. Until now, manufacturers could only print impellers with support structures due to their overhang angles, which, according to Trumpf, is considered uneconomical. This is now different.