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TRUMPF launches versatile fiber laser metal tube cutting machine…

15 Apr 2020

…while VELO3D develops Sapphire 1m tall industrial laser 3D metal printer.

Industrial tool and laser maker Trumpf has launcher a new laser tube-cutting machine, the TruLaser Tube 3000 fiber. The company describes it as “a cost-effective choice even at low to medium capacity utilization, suitable for companies that are entering this sector and those seeking to expand production capacity.”

The Tube 3000 fiber enables the versatile processing of tubes and profiles and Trumpf says it could “replace conventional tube processing steps such as sawing, drilling and milling.”

The new tool covers a broad range of applications including profiles, round tubes and flat steel bars. It also offers the option of L and U profiles. The 2kW solid-state laser performs high-speed cutting of mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and nonferrous metals such as copper and brass.

It can cut tubes with diameters of up to 152 millimeters and profiles with an outer circumference of up to 170 millimeters. The self- centering clamping technology, which is designed to hold the tube in place and position it correctly during machining, adapts automatically to the tube dimensions without requiring manual setup by the operator.

The TruLaser Tube 3000 fiber also configures other important settings automatically. The AdjustLine function modifies cutting parameters at the touch of a button to ensure reliable cutting of lower-quality materials. SeamLine Tube detects weld seams and markings on the inner and outer surfaces of the tubes, helping operators check that the tubes are correctly aligned in the machine and that the weld seam is in the desired position in the finished part.

LoadMaster Tube feature

The TruLaser Tube 3000 fiber cuts tubes weighing up to 18.5 kg/m with material thicknesses of up to 8mm. It is available in two lengths that accommodate either 6.5m or 8m of material. Thanks to the optional LoadMaster Tube automated loading system, the machine is also a cost- effective choice for high-volume production runs.

An integrated materials store known as the “bundle space” provides a buffer store that can hold up to 4 tons of raw material, or up to 5 tons with the machine version designed for an 8m loading length. The LoadMaster Tube system separates and measures the tubes parallel with production and transfers them to the machine.

The rollers can be adjusted to the current tube diameter in one simple action. The machine also features guide rollers on the unloading side which provide more support to long tubes during processing. The TruLaser Tube 3000 fiber ejects finished parts onto a rack.

Users can make changes to the machine's production schedule or keep an eye on the machine using an app, making it easy for the operator to keep track of the entire machining process in the TruLaser Tube 3000 fiber system. A secure, OPC UA-based data interface is included to connect the machine to an ERP or MES system or to a cloud application. Trumpf machine apps provide information on program runtimes and machine capacity utilization.

VELO3D launches ‘tallest’ industrial laser 3D metal printer

Digital manufacturing company VELO3D, based in Campbell, CA, is planning to launch its Sapphire industrial 3D metal printer, which features a vertical axis of 1 meter. The system will ship in Q4 2020, with precision-tool and component manufacturer Knust-Godwin, Katy, TX, securing the first order to produce parts for an oil and gas application.

Benny Buller, founder and CEO of VELO3D, commented, “A meter-tall system enables industrial applications that could not be built before, especially for oilfield service tools and flight hardware. It features our patented SupportFree process, in-situ calibration, and process control for quality assurance.”

The immediate part opportunity that Knust-Godwin will address with the meter-tall Sapphire printer is a part for oilfield drilling pieces that are currently manufactured by more than five subtractive processes. Laser additive manufacturing enables consolidation of such traditional processes, improving part quality and part performance, says VELO3D.

“There tends to be a trade-off between large-format additive machines and part quality; VELO3D’s technology is attractive to us because of their semiconductor heritage and engineering disciplines around process control and metrology,” commented Mike Corliss, VP of Technology at Knust-Godwin. “We’ll be able to build mission-critical industrial parts without compromises made to part quality.”

The technical features of the meter-tall Sapphire printer include a 315mm-diameter build plate, dual 1kW lasers, in-situ optical calibration, and many of the same characteristics of the existing Sapphire machine. The Sapphire is said to be the world’s tallest production metal-powder laser additive manufacturing system, exceeding the build height of VELO3D’s SLM 800 and GE Additive X Line 2000R. The system will be commercially available starting late 2020 and compatible with nickel-based alloys.

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