Velo3D, a leading manufacturer of metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems for aerospace and space, has announced the release date for its new Sapphire XC 1MZ, which will be the largest printer produced by the society. Currently, this title belongs to the original XC, released in late 2021.
Velo3D says it plans to deliver the first 1MZ XC systems to several aerospace companies at the end of Q3 2022. Very simply, the “1M” in 1MZ refers to the fact that the machine can handle objects up to one meter height. . This gives it twice the build volume of the XC, as well as, according to the company, the largest build volume of any powder bed fusion (LPBF) laser printer on the market.
Given its niche as a leading supplier of AM hardware to the aerospace and space sectors, in particular, it makes sense that Velo3D has started to focus on higher build volumes. Combining this with the company’s focus on automated quality control should solidify its position in aerospace and space, and give it an edge in any industry with high production volumes of large heavy parts. This is particularly important, especially as the automotive industry continues to step up its integration of AM into production lines. Honda is already a Velo3D customer, and the company will likely attract more automakers in the near future.
This matters far beyond quarterly and annual sales figures, due to the specific conjuncture in which the AM industry currently exists. The next few years could very well determine the fate of what have been, until now, the most well-known companies in the industry, especially on the hardware side.
Hardware manufacturers who benefit from both the increased use of AM in the automotive and aerospace sectors will not only sell more machines and generate more revenue, but also create the standards for the entire ground. floor of the use of 3D printing as mass manufacturing. Technology. This has a host of implications for the role of these companies – like, potentially, Velo3D – in the evolution of the industry, perhaps most notable among those controlling supply chains for AM materials.
It is of course still difficult to say how much of the large-scale industry will eventually adopt AM, let alone which companies might have real resilience, aside from those that have been around for decades. But I think you could definitely do worse in terms of your potential formula for overall success than a combination of high build volumes and automated quality control.
Images courtesy of Velo3D
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