High-technology company TRUMPF has qualified Equispheres AlSi10Mg powders for its TruPrint 3000 series of 3D printing systems. The qualification process confirmed that Equispheres’ advanced aluminum materials could achieve up to a 33% faster build rate on the TruPrint system than standard aluminum powder.

TRUMPF will release two parameter sets for the Equispheres materials. The basic parameter set achieves 13% faster throughput than TRUMPF ‘s standard parameters. There will also be a “productivity” parameter set that provides a 33% faster build rate while maintaining similar tensile properties.

“We are very pleased that TRUMPF has quantified the improved performance that results from the pairing of its advanced additive manufacturing equipment and our unique powder. This combination will offer TruPrint users significant productivity increases,” says Evan Butler-Jones, Vice-President – Product & Strategy for Equispheres. “This work confirms that our powders contribute to substantially better build rates when used on modern, high-quality additive manufacturing systems.”

“The characteristics of Equispheres’ powders will allow our customers to achieve better quality parts at higher build rates. By identifying this type of high-performing material and preparing the optimal parameters, we give our clients a competitive edge,” says Tobias Kiesow, an application engineer with TRUMPF. Kiesow notes that Equispheres’ materials also demonstrate higher density in the finished part.

TRUMPF’s qualification testing was conducted at 60-micron layers and achieved build rates of 164 cm³/h on a dual-laser system. The company also expects to release parameters for using Equispheres aluminum powders on its other 3D printing systems.

As additive manufacturing makes headway in mainstream manufacturing, there is an increased focus on production speed. “These materials and the parameters we’ve developed will help clients achieve that higher productivity level,” says Kiesow.

TRUMPF’s TruPrint 3000 3D printing system uses powder-bed-based laser melting to produce parts with a diameter of up to 300 millimetres and a height of up to 400 millimetres. In the dual-laser configuration, two 500-watt lasers scan the machine’s entire build chamber in parallel.

“This qualification is a significant step forward for our materials. It gives part manufacturers a path to receive the maximum benefit from our superior feedstock and the support of applications engineering teams at both TRUMPF and Equispheres,” says Butler-Jones.

Equispheres’ aluminum powders are produced by a unique process that creates highly uniform, spherical particles. This year, the company brought commercial-scale reactors online, adding production capacity to meet surging market demand.


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