Trumpf has announced its TruPrint 3000 and 5000 3D printers, medium-format machines that use laser metal fusion (LMF) technology to generate complete parts layer by layer in a powder bed. Designed for the large-scale production of complex metal parts, the machines feature a tool-change cylinder concept, which enables the construction chamber and supply cylinders to be switched out quickly.
Both the TruPrint 3000 and TruPrint 5000 systems support the manufacture of complex parts from metal powder, such as steel, nickel-based alloys, titanium or aluminum. These machines include features to support the creation of a complete process chain for addirive manufacturing. The first link in the chain is the company’s TruTops Print with NX software package, a comprehensive software solution with a standardized user interface across systems. Trumpf also provides Industry 4.0 solutions under its TruConnect offerings.
The TruPrint 3000 accommodates parts ranging to 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height. It is equipped with two supply cylinders, meaning that as much as 75 L of powder is available for each job. This quantity is about 2.5 times the construction volume, so that the entire manufacturing process can be completed without stopping to refill. If powder does run low, supply and overflow cylinders can be exchanged without interrupting the process, reducing downtime. To support powder management, Trumpf offers an automated sieve station capable of refining several hundred kilograms of powder each hour to ensure consistent powder quality.
Once the manufacturing process is complete, the covered construction chamber can be fitted directly into an unpacking station. This station features safety gloves and sight protection to prevent users from coming into contact with the powder during unpacking and cleaning. Excess material ends up back in the sieve station, ensuring a safe and sealed powder cycle.
The TruPrint 5000 features three 500-W lasers that are simultaneously active at multiple points in the process chamber. According to the company, this system can generate parts faster and more efficiently, as they can be exposed to all three lasers in the construction chamber at the same time. The lasers are not limited to predefined areas, enabling faster build-up rates.
Smart exposure strategies automatically determine the ideal laser paths so that all three lasers can always expose multiple parts. In addition, the lasers can be easily assigned to specific parts, so that that the outer contours are produced seamlessly by a single laser. An integrating preheating function ranging to 500°C helps support part quality and enable large-scale industrial production. Market launch for this system is scheduled for late 2017.