Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA, has qualified the use of M300 tool steel, an ultra-low carbon alloy that delivers high strength and hardness, for use in the company’s Sapphire metal Additive Manufacturing machines. The company states that it has already seen interest in the alloy from automotive manufacturers for use in high-pressure die cast inserts, injection moulding, and other types of tooling. Additively manufactured M300 parts produced on a Sapphire AM machine are currently on show at IMTS 2022.
“By qualifying M300 tool steel for use in our printers, we’re able to service entirely new industries, like automotive and tooling, that can leverage Velo3D’s advanced capability to print high quality, large diameter internal channels for their applications,” commented Greg Brown, Velo3D VP of Technology. “By manufacturing die cast inserts and other tooling components with our technology, we expect companies will be able to build stronger products, improve machining throughput, and decrease manufacturing costs.”
Velo3D explains that its end-to-end solution is ideal for leveraging M300 tool steel due to its ability to build parts with high-quality surface finishes in complex large-diameter internal cooling channels. These channels can prolong the life of the tooling; however, they can be difficult to create with conventional manufacturing methods. Furthermore, while many metal Additive Manufacturing machines can build smaller diameter holes, additively manufacturing large channels can create roughness and susceptibility to cracking.
The company’s Sapphire XC 1MZ also provides customers with a large build volume of 600 mm in diameter and 1000 mm in height. Velo3D states that this is the largest build volume in comparable AM machines from leading manufacturers, making it better suited to fulfil the requirements of industries that require the largest M300 tool steel inserts, like automotive.
Velo3D reports that it has seen high demand for Sapphire AM machines utilising M300 tool steel in both Sapphire and Sapphire XC platforms. The company expects machine deliveries will start as early as Q4 of 2022.