Award-winning metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) solution provider VELO3D has announced a partnership with Honeywell Aerospace, manufacturer of aircraft engines and avionics. The partnership seeks to qualify VELO3D’s Sapphire metal 3D printer a viable platform for the additive manufacturing production of aircraft components.
The qualification program will see the installation of VELO3D’s Sapphire system at Honeywell Aerospace’s facility in Phoenix, Arizona in the US. Launched in August of 2018, the rather innovative 3D metal printer was designed to overcome issues and challenges present when using powder-based metal AM to 3D print components. Some of these limitations include design limitations, process control and consistency through its combined hardware and software solution.
Honeywell Aerospace chose the Sapphire AM system because of its ability to 3D metal print components of complex geometries without the need for support structures which will, therefore, lead to faster production cycles and reduced costs.
Dr. Söeren Wiener who is a Senior Director of Technology and Advanced Operations for Honeywell Aerospace gave a comment about the partnership.
“We are qualifying VELO3D’s Sapphire system with the aim of printing geometries that can’t be fabricated on existing 3D metal printers. Their technology will help Honeywell develop new production-part applications while also meeting our material requirements for qualification. We intend to qualify this equipment through repeatability testing in our production environment, including build and post-processing, to generate an acceptable set of material property data and qualification of flight hardware.”
Honeywell Aerospace plans to start working immediately out of its facility in Phoenix facility on qualifying the Sapphire system for a nickel-based alloy called Inconel. The alloy has very good resistance to extreme temperatures.
VELO3D will assist Honeywell Aerospace in the development of parameter sets to optimize material properties.
Benny Buller, Founder, and CEO of VELO3D added “The geometric enablement we are able to offer customers like Honeywell Aerospace allows them to print what used to be ‘impossible parts’ and, yet, do it with a strong business case of improved cost and better quality,”
“We are excited to partner with Honeywell to demonstrate that 3D metal printing is a viable production manufacturing method for a wider range of end-use applications.”
The partners plan to move ahead with the qualification process quickly to meet an expected deadline set for the 3rd quarter of 2020.