TRUMPF’s latest 3D printer, the TruPrint 5000 introduced at the Frankfurt event last year, can be preheated to 500 degrees celsius to print high-carbon steel or titanium alloy components that don’t crack or warp. By preheating the substrate plate, tool and mould makers can easily print forming tools, punches and dies which would have previously been impossible
“The laser beam melts the component surface, which subsequently cools back down to room temperature. The components weren’t able to withstand this temperature drop, and cracks formed,” Tobias Baur, TRUMPF General Manager Additive Manufacturing said. “The material quality and surface of carbon steels are significantly better than without preheating, preventing fractures in the components.”
Preheating also offers advantages for additively manufactured prostheses and implants. Preheating the TruPrint 5000 reduces stresses, improves processing quality and, in many cases, eliminates the need for support structures. It also often reduces the need for downstream heat treatment, as well as making the titanium more resilient and the implants more durable.
TRUMPF also showcased a new green laser with pulse function to demonstrate how to print pure copper and other precious metals by connecting the new TruDisk 1020 disk laser with its TruPrint 1000 3D printer.
“Conventional systems use an infrared laser as the beam source, but its wavelength is too long and it can’t weld highly reflective materials such as copper and gold. This can be done with laser light in the green wavelength spectrum,” says Thomas Fehn, TRUMPF General Manager Additive Manufacturing with responsibility for sales.
According to Fehn, this will open up new possibilities for 3D printing, for example in the electronics and automotive industries. The green laser also holds great potential for gold printing in the jewellery industry, enabling individual unique pieces to be produced on demand while simultaneously saving expensive material. TRUMPF had some jewellery examples on display including a watch casing printed in 18kt red gold.