Nov 17, 2017 | By David

German 3D printing giant Trumpf has rapidly established a reputation for itself in the field of laser-based manufacturing technology as one of its key players. This year’s Formnext trade show in Frankfurt sees the unveiling of the company’s latest product, which should contribute even further to its expansion. The “TruPrint 5000” system is built around three 500 W fiber lasers and custom scanner optics, and is claimed by Trumpf to be the world’s “fastest and most productive medium-format 3D printing system”.

Trumpf’s new 3D printing solution complements its existing range of advanced metal 3D printers of various kinds. It has already had considerable success with three “TruPrint” Laser Metal Fusion machines, as well two “TruLaser” tools which make use of metal deposition techniques. The TruPrint 5000 is also based on the LMF technique, which works by fusing different layers of the metal powder bed together.

TruPrint 5000 can make complex parts from all weldable materials, up to 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm high. The machine also features a zero point clamping system which does away with the need for manual steps such as tightening screws. An automated system for moving the build cylinder in and out of the chamber also limits the amount of manual intervention required to keep up continuous production.

The print speed of the TruPrint 5000 system is now said to be sufficient for series production, which should give it a considerable edge in the metal 3D printing market, particularly for a medium format machine. The scaling up of the speed to enable series manufacturing has been achieved through an innovative triple beam system. This moving, multi-point laser approach is a significant time-save for larger or more complex print jobs. According to the company, “The three lasers are fitted with optics specially designed by Trumpf, enabling them to operate simultaneously at any point in the system's construction chamber...As a result, they can generate components much faster and more efficiently, irrespective of the number and geometry of the components.”

According to Trumpf CTO Peter Leibinger, “If the market for 3D printers continues to develop in line with current indications, then we see an opportunity for our company to achieve additional revenues of half a billion euros in a timescale of five to seven years. We want to gain a leading role in the market and secure a market share of around 20 per cent in the medium term.”

Trumpf is going up against a number of heavy hitters for this increased laser 3D printing market share, including SLM Solutions, the GE subsidiary Concept Laser, EOS, and 3D Systems. One major advantage that the company can count on is its ability to internally source all the required technology for its machines, including laser and optics technology as well as manufacturing expertise.

Trumpf’s strong relationship with local technology research teams is a key part of its strategy and has accelerated its growth and the development of its solutions to cover a broader range of different manufacturing problems. The Ditzinger-based company collaborates closely with the RWTW Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) in nearby Aachen, which is the same city that hosts Trumpf’s new additive development unit.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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