TRUMPF prints copper in large format for the first time with a green laser
December 2, 2022 2:53 pm
TruPrint 5000, optimised for series production, is equipped with a green laser crucial for copper processing. Its Preform system has additional sensors that enable hybrid production.
Large copper components can now be processed on 3D printers from TRUMPF as quickly as common 3D printing materials such as stainless steel. The high-tech company has equipped its largest 3D printer, the TruPrint 5000, with the green laser for the first time for this purpose. Roland Spiegelhalder, product manager at TRUMPF responsible for the TruPrint 5000, says, “The green laser is crucial for processing copper. We are a leader in this technology. With the TruPrint 5000 Green Edition, we are responding to the demand for systems with larger installation space to produce copper components such as components for electric motors or heat exchangers.”
The system is energy efficient and repeatable. “Therefore, it is very well suited for series production. Users produce large copper components faster and in higher quality with the new TruPrint 5000 Green Edition system than with comparable machines using infrared technology,” says Spiegelhalder.
Perform enables hybrid production.
Hybrid production is now possible with the new TruPrint 5000. The user no longer has to manufacture the entire component additively. This lowers costs. For example, users of the TruPrint 5000 can use the Preform function to print special parts, such as cooling channels, onto milled or cast components. In the large installation space of the system, maintenance technicians can also repair the turbine blades of engines additively. “For this, the system has to work particularly precisely. This is made possible by our Preform system, which is based on a sophisticated camera system,” says Spiegelhalder. The Preform Advanced variant has additional sensors and operates automatically. “This enables series production of hybrid components,” says the TRUMPF product manager.
Multilayers work even more precisely.
The TruPrint 5000 can produce metal components even faster with its three fibre lasers. “This multilaser principle can be compared to handwriting not only with one pencil but several simultaneously,” says Spiegelhalder. However, it is a major challenge to ensure that all the lasers in the system work accurately within a few micrometres. The lasers must be perfectly calibrated. To make this possible, TRUMPF has developed the Automatic Multilaser Alignment system. The lasers automatically measure themselves during the construction job at a freely selectable interval and correct their position independently. “This ensures high accuracy and saves time because the user no longer has to interrupt the construction job for up to an hour for the measurement. The aerospace industry, particularly with its high-quality requirements, benefits from this,” says Spiegelhalder. This function also allows the TruPrint 5000 to measure and recalibrate itself before and after each build job. It is no longer necessary for a service technician from TRUMPF to come to the machine to do this.
TruPrint 5000 benefits from TRUMPF mechanical engineering expertise
One challenge in additive manufacturing was the wide dispersion of machines for a long time. “However, the TruPrint 5000 is so sophisticated that there is no difference between machine A and machine B if they are to produce the same component. We are therefore talking about excellent reproducibility here,” says Spiegelhalder. To achieve this, TRUMPF has contributed its full knowledge of additive manufacturing, mechanical engineering and laser technology. In addition, the high-tech company has done a lot of basic research, for example, on the gas flow within the system and the exposure strategy of the lasers.