Mar 30, 2016 | By Benedict

Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd (CTC), a Chinese 3D printer manufacturer, has announced the release of its new ‘Walnut’ range of selective laser melting (SLM) industry-grade metal 3D printers. The company is the first in China to build a dot-scan 3D operating system without imported components.

Last July, Chinese 3D printer manufacturer CTC established itself in the Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing game with its affordable Riverside SLA 3D printer, which was followed soon after by a successor, the Riverside 2, and a dedicated RiverOS 1.0 operating system. Those resin 3D printers were well received by customers, and the company has now extended its additive manufacturing operations by launching a family of selective laser melting (SLM) 3D printers under the ‘Walnut’ name.

CTC has developed three Walnut SLM 3D printers: the Walnut 26, Walnut 18, and Walnut 11. The company aims to use these three 3D printers to make inroads into the aerospace and automotive sectors, citing the 14.4% of the metal 3D printing market occupied by applications across those two sectors. With aerospace giants like Airbus promising to utilize metal 3D printing on a much larger scale in the coming years, CTC is hoping to capitalize on this shift in manufacturing techniques and become a key supplier of metal 3D printers both within China and internationally.

CTC has wasted no time in getting its new metal 3D printers on the market as it seeks to attract interest from a range of potential clients and customers. PR Manager Yoyo Hee explained how the company was able to develop its line of Walnut SLM 3D printers so soon after launching its Riverside SLA 3D printers: "We are the first and, to date, quite possibly the sole manufacturer in China to have built the dot-scan 3D operating system on our own, and, at variance with other domestic makers, we do not rely on technologies developed by foreign outsourcing firms. SLA and SLM are based on the same software algorithm, enabling rapid research and development.”

By developing its own components and technologies for the Walnut family of SLM 3D printers, CTC has eliminated the need for a foreign supply chain. Sourcing all equipment and materials from within China, the company has managed reduce costs and focus its resources into building a high quality range of machines rather than paying for unnecessary shipping costs and marked up products from external suppliers. CTC is calling its new proprietary metal 3D printers “the first technical breakthrough for the industry in the country”.

Each Walnut SLM 3D printer promises a stable printing process and high quality 3D prints, thanks to an  an infrared high-energy fiber laser and a Scanlab high-precision scanning galvanometer. CTC has permitted open access to reference information so the Walnut 3D printers can be adapted to work with different metallic printing materials. The Walnut 26, the largest of the three new SLM 3D printers, measures 260 x 260 x 260 mm, features a 0.06 - 0.12 mm valid spot diameter, and is compatible with Windows 7 and XP. Full specs below.

CTC is hoping that its Walnut family of 3D printers will bring the company to the forefront of the metal 3D printing industry in China, just as its Riverside 3D printers helped it rise to prominence within the world of SLA 3D printing. "As one of the top 3D printing technology suppliers in China, CTC provides customers worldwide with comprehensive solutions encompassing resin, metal, fused deposition modeling (FDM), SLM, desktop and industry-grade,” Hee explained. “The launch of the CTC Walnut series marks a key step towards realizing our vision.”

Walnut 26 technical specifications:

  • Type of laser: fiber laser IPG (water-cooling)
  • Wave length: 1064nm
  • Power: 500W
  • Laser Scan System Harry Scan20
  • Valid spot diameter: 0.06-0.12mm
  • Scanning galvanometer: F-THETA-LEN system
  • Parts scanning speed: 6.0-12m/s
  • Dimensions: 260mm × 260mm x 260mm
  • Gas shield: argon shield  
  • Printing materials: stainless steel, die steel, cobalt-chromium alloy, nickel alloy, aluminum alloy, iron-based alloy, other metals and metal-based materials
  • Software: SOFTWARE
  • Operating system: Windows 7, XP
  • 3D software: Riverside-walnut OS
  • Data format: Gcode
  • CAD interface: 3D design software, STL file format  



Posted in 3D Printer



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