CAMPBELL, CA—High-performance-rocket manufacturer Launcher recently purchased another Sapphire Velo3D 3D metal printer to specifically print engine turbopump parts in titanium, including fuel pumps, flight turbine housings and orbiter pressure vessels. Such parts typically require casting, forging, and welding, as well as expensive tooling. 3D printing the parts lowers the cost for Launcher and increases innovation through iteration between each prototype.
The company's strategy is to use additive manufacturing for as many rocket components as possible. It also plans to take advantage of Velo3D’s contract manufacturing partners, like Stratasys, when scaling up production.
Separately, Velo3D has opened a technical center in Augsburg, Germany, where the Sapphire systems will be assembled and demonstrated. It recently delivered a system to Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield (SBO) Technology, a European contract manufacturer specializing in the production of high-value metal parts for the oil and gas industry.
SBO’s U.S.-based subsidiary, Knust-Godwin (Katy, TX), has validated Velo3D’s end-to-end additive manufacturing technology in its Houston facility and is using its system to build production parts for its customers in the aerospace and oil and gas industries. The new system will be located in the company’s Austrian headquarters and will be able to print complex metal parts in Inconel 718. SBO has EN 9100, ISO 9001, and ISO 14001 certifications, which allow it to develop and produce parts for aerospace customers, as well as other industries, while also meeting certain standards for quality and environmental management.
Velo3D’s European Technology Center will be located at the Augsburg Innovations Park and include more than 1,200 square feet of space across a main hall (which will house Sapphire systems), a lab area, and offices. It also includes conference rooms for hosting customers for presentations, events, and other meetings.