Breakthrough speeds in aluminum part production have been achieved using the Aconity3D 1-kW MIDI system and Equispheres’ aluminum powder, the two companies report.
Aconity3D is a manufacturer of custom and precise metal additive manufacturing (AM) printers and Equispheres produces specialized powders with unique attributes specifically designed for AM. Aconity3D has been testing Equispheres powder to produce a part of the AconitySCAN, a key component of the Aconity3D line of printers, with the objective to produce the part more quickly and at a lower cost than is achievable with standard powder. The results achieved to date have demonstrated that the part can be produced in 60+% less time (i.e., 53 hours reduced to 17.5 hours) with no impact on mechanical properties.
Yves Hagedorn, Managing Director of Aconity3D, says, “This dramatic reduction in production time reduces the cost to produce the part by greater than 50%. More importantly, it enables Aconity3D to produce our printers more quickly and meet the growing demand for our systems.”
Evan Butler-Jones, Director of Applications Engineering at Equispheres, explains that the highly spherical and uniform Equispheres powder can take advantage of both the precision and configurability of the Aconity3D system. “Most importantly, the powder can absorb the energy from the powerful 1 kw laser without disturbing the stability of the melt pool. This is not attainable with standard aluminum powders.”
“We are pleased to partner with Aconity3D on this initiative,” he continues. “Combining their expertise with AM systems and our expertise in powders provides a powerful solution to the market.”
Aconity3D plans to conduct additional testing with Equispheres powder to further optimize their process and reduce costs. In addition to using the powder for their internal part production needs, Equispheres and Aconity3D are finalizing an agreement to enable Aconity3D to provide Equispheres powder directly to Aconity3D customers as a starter kit.
“We want our customers to have the best production experience when they utilize our specialized printer equipment. The best way to showcase our devices is to equip them with the best powder,” states Hagedorn.