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New innovations in TRUMPF 3D printing


Recent TRUMPF developments in additive manufacturing have created new application opportunities in medical, aerospace and automated engineering.  Key innovations include the addition of the Multiplate function on the new TruPrint 1000 that allows it to be used for series production.  Also, in its aim to offers customers the broadest material portfolio on the market, TRUMPF has significantly extended its selection of powder alloys. 

Multiplate enhances series production

Thanks to smart automation, the new TruPrint 1000 is already twice as fast as its predecessor.  The introduction of the Multiplate function capitalises on this advancement by making this entry-level machine suitable for series production. Users can stack up to four build plates, on top of each other in the build cylinder, onto which the system prints components one after the other. This allows the TruPrint 1000 to be used for lights-out production, saving time and therefore costs.  

At just about 80 centimetres wide, the machine takes up very little space and can pass through a standard door. Even in small production halls, users can have several machines producing side by side in parallel to speed up their series production even further. For example, the dental industry can use the TruPrint to produce dental prostheses - crowns, bridges and also cast models, from the alloys cobalt, chrome or titanium. The system is also suitable for medical technology manufacturers or prototype construction in many other industries. 

Exchange cylinder principle speeds up production

With an exchange kit, the user can easily change the build, powder and overflow cylinders of the TruPrint 1000 in just 15 to 20 minutes using integrated gloves.  The filters are easily accessible on the side of the machine. Without opening the door, the user can clean the additively manufactured components and unpack the build job; a big advantage from a health and safety perspective. TRUMPF has also Improved gas flow to make the system fast and reliable. 

Thanks to the clean working environment, users can apply higher layer thicknesses. This increases the productivity of the system and improves the quality of the additively manufactured components. 

In the Multilaser variant of the TruPrint 1000, the system has two lasers which can process the entire build plate to improve productivity even further.  The machine also uses a beam expander to automatically adjust the spot diameter of the laser - 55 or 80 micrometers - to suit the particular build job. The wider spot allows for higher productivity, while the 55 micrometer alternative can be used when special powders need higher energy density. 

Larger powder and material selection

Continued close collaboration with powder manufacturers has enabled TRUMPF to expand its material selection to include titanium, aluminium, stainless steel and tool steel alloys for the TruPrint 3D printing systems. This means users can implement new applications using additive manufacturing or improve existing applications with new powders. For example, the new titanium alloy allows users to process titanium 6242, a common request from the aerospace, motorsport and energy industries. 

For the automotive industry, TRUMPF's CustAlloy aluminium alloy from ECKA Granules is particularly beneficial. With standard aluminium, automotive manufacturers have reached their limits, especially when it comes to the combination of strength and elongation. This is where CustAlloy helps.  It has very good mechanical properties and does not break or crack as quickly, making crash-relevant applications possible. At the same time, CustAlloy is far less expensive to purchase than comparable high-end aluminium alloys, which use expensive alloying elements to achieve their properties. 

Just recently, TRUMPF qualified the Printdur HSA stainless steel alloy for the TruPrint 2000.  Made from recycled scrap, this powder is highly sustainable. It is particularly strong without thermal post-treatment and does not rust as quickly. The Medidur alloy has the same properties as Printdur HSA. However, the powder manufacturer has developed this material especially for the medical industry, a sector which understandably has higher requirements for the purity of materials. 

Completing the new powder additions is TRUMPF's M789 tool steel, particularly suited to tool and mould making.  Without preheating the powder, users can use it to print components. Because it is easy to process and at the same time very corrosion-resistant, tools can be manufactured in combination with more aggressive materials, such as in plastic injection moulding.