Energy / Industrial 3D Printing
Applications with demanding functional, performance and precision requirements are poised to quickly move to metal additive manufacturing. VELO3D's Sapphire® was designed to address the most advanced challenges providing a broad design space, with little or no post processing and superior quality.
Metal Additive Manufacturing
for Energy & Industrial
The energy, oil, and gas industries have rigorous quality and precision requirements for parts with demanding applications in harsh conditions. Metal additive manufacturing presents new possibilities to rethink design and fabrication of existing parts.
Pump manifolds, stators, inducers, turbine nozzles or other engine parts with gas or liquids flowing through them are pushing the limits of existing metal additive manufacturing.
Predictable Manufacturing of Challenging Parts
VELO3D‘s next generation additive manufacturing methods reduce part production from weeks to hours. Previous labor-intensive sheet metal production, complicated braising methods, and the need for welding or additional machining become obsolete.
VELO3D‘s capability to produce extremely complex parts with multiple internal structures that require little or no post-processing sets new standards for quality, yield, cost-efficiencies, and time-to-market.
In traditional manufacturing, inducers and impellers are milled out of solid blocks of Inconel, which is extremely difficult to machine. It takes expensive machining time and waste to both material and tooling.
Additive manufacturing has the potential to improve this process and enable faster and more cost-effective impeller production. Conventional AM systems rely heavily on supporting the bottom surfaces of the Blades to successfully complete the build. Once Completed, those supports must be removed, which entails lengthly and expensive post-processing. Final machining of the entire part is necessary to meet design specifications.
Velo3D delivers a groundbreaking fabrication method for production-grade inducers which eliminates the need to support the underside of the blades. While these surfaces might need some touch-up, the reduction in post-processing can make inducers produced with Velo3D’s solution orders of magnitude faster, cheaper and easier to make.
Shrouded impellers often require a multi-step process when produced with traditional manufacturing methods.
A common method is to machine the impeller from a billet of material on a 5-axis mill, and e-beam weld on the shroud, another fully-machined part. This process is expensive and low yielding.
Conventional additive manufacturing systems typically require supports on surfaces below 45 degrees. Removing internal supports is often impossible due to limited access. It has limited the use of traditional AM solutions in this application.
The Velo3D system excels at making this part, overcoming the challenges of other AM solutions. The only support required in most cases is a radial extrusion that supports the outer lip, and that can be removed in a single turning operation. The Velo3D Sapphire solution doesn’t require internal supports and the post processing is minimal.
Diamond Heat Exchanger
With conventional additive manufacturing systems, designs like this heat exchanger are prone to warping and deformation created by the material stresses during the build process.
Current AM systems have challenges with curved, thin wall components, and this geometry is particularly challenging. Without deformation corrections, the challenges remain even if the angles of the curved surfaces are above 45°. This part would usually fail due to thermal stresses and deformations of the complex curves, as well as the unsupported internal areas.
Velo3D’s Intelligent Fusion™ corrects deformation issues and allows true print-to-design.
The diamonds of this heat exchanger have 25° overhangs, which is not a challenge for Velo3D. Velo3D systems can print this part with high dimensional accuracy, and without supports, saving time and cost.
Radial Flow Heat Exchanger
Heat exchangers have challenging geometries that require very thin walls and complex fluid passages for efficient heat transfer with low pressure drop along the flow paths.
In traditional manufacturing, these are often made by brazing together pieces of sheet metal. The geometries that can be achieved are limited, and the yield of the brazing process is low, contributing significantly to part cost.
Additive manufacturing has many benefits for heat exchanger manufacturing, as the geometries can be considerably more complicated. However, current AM systems are having challenges with thin, high aspect-ratio walls, particularly when parallel to the recoater. Next-generation heat exchangers, for example some made with periodic surfaces have very challenging support requirements often making them not manufacturable.
Velo3D delivers a solution for printing heat exchangers, even for challenging geometries such as this radial heat exchanger. The geometry guarantees that some walls will be parallel to our zero-contact recoater which allows for successful printing even at very high wall aspect ratios.
Velo3D enables the cost-effective manufacturing of today’s advanced thermal management solutions.