Western Australia–based Aurora Labs Ltd., an industrial technology company that manufactures 3D metal printers, powders, software and associated technologies, announced advances in the development of its Large Format Technology (LFP). The company’s prototype is now able to print simple parts slowly, which signifies a printing rate comparable to existing technology in the market, but much slower than the theoretical printing speed the Large Format Technology is targeting.
|This 88-mm-diameter, stainless-steel rhombus ball was 3D printed in 60-µm layers using the company's S-Titanium
Pro 3D metal printer.
The ability to print simple parts slowly is a critical milestone for Aurora, as it indicates that the key components of the Large Format Technology have been proven at a fundamental level and should ultimately pave the way for the development of a medium- and large-format printer, said Aurora.
Initial testing of the technology indicates that the targeted print speed of 1 tonne per day is possible with this technology, said Aurora, with an early speed of at least 3 kg/hr being achieved at a slow printing speed.
David Budge, Managing Director, commented: “Reaching the ability to print simple parts slowly is the latest of our outlined steps toward the development of our Large Format Technology. When we talk about printing simple parts slowly, this is equivalent to the same speed of other metal 3D printers currently in the market; printing complex parts rapidly is targeting speeds that are approximately 100 times faster than existing 3D printers. We look forward to announcing the achievement of additional goals along the way as we advance the development and ultimate commercialization of the technology.”
Aurora believes there is a significant commercial opportunity with its Large Format Technology in the very rapid production of complex metal 3D-printed parts. Currently, no global competitor has a printer that combines the the large-format printer’s targeted speed and precision, claims the company.
The indicative timeline pictured below is envisaged to be completed over the next 10 to 11 months, noted Aurora. The two additional units referred to in the timeline are as follows:
- Unit 1 is a second proof-of-concept machine to speed up the testing process;
- unit 2 is the first of the pre-production models of the medium-format printer that Aurora will be taking to trade shows.