ZHUHAI, China, March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Information gleaned from the 2015 financial statements of leading additive manufacturing solutions and systems providers Sweden-based Arcam Group and Germany-based EOS reflects a strong and growing market demand for metal printing worldwide. The application of industrial 3D printing is expected to become more widespread over the next decade. The market share of metal 3D printing, the brightest segment across the 3D printing spectrum, in particular printers with unit prices above US$300,000, is expected to rise to 27 per cent.
Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd ("CTC"), a renowned Chinese 3D printing manufacturer, announced the release of its new Walnut family of selective laser melting (SLM) technology-based industry-grade metal 3D printers via its official microblog.
Metal 3D printing, the most cutting-edge 3D printing technology, and one that is showing the most potential, is a significant achievement of advanced manufacturing technologies. CTC's SLM is one of the major metal 3D printing technologies that has gained industry-wide acceptance.
As for why CTC was able to launch a series of metal 3D printers so rapidly following the release of its line of industry-grade stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers, its PR Manager Yoyo Hee said: "We are the first and, to date, quite possibly the sole manufacturer in China to have built the dot-scan 3D operating system on our own, and, at variance with other domestic makers, we do not rely on technologies developed by foreign outsourcing firms. SLA and SLM are based on the same software algorithm, enabling rapid research and development."
Metal 3D printers represent a robust technology with huge application potential, especially application in manufacturing of the key components that go into high-end products such as aerospace and automotive components. A research report showed that users of aerospace and military products accounted for 14.4 per cent of the metal 3D printing market in 2015. Aerospace manufacturing processes, for the most part, depend on expensive strategic materials, such as intractable metal materials including titanium alloy and nickel-base superalloy. Metal 3D printers stand ready to replace some of the traditional processing manufacturing tools in the not too distant future and, as a result, metal 3D printers are expected to trigger fierce competition in the industrial application market.
Due to the lack of proprietary metal 3D printing technologies in China, almost all the necessary equipment and materials are dominated by foreign manufacturers, resulting in higher costs associated with the use of 3D printing technologies across the Chinese manufacturing sector. The new proprietary metal 3D printer introduced by CTC marks the first technical breakthrough for the industry in the country.
Ms. Hee further explained, "As one of the top 3D printing technology suppliers in China, CTC provides customers worldwide with comprehensive solutions encompassing resin, metal, fused deposition modeling (FDM), SLM, desktop and industry-grade. The launch of the CTC Walnut series marks a key step towards realizing our vision."
CTC's Walnut SLM metal 3D printer ensures a stable printing process, precision in the dimensions of the formed parts as well as mechanical properties and strength performance by using an infrared high-energy fiber laser and a Scanlab high-precision scanning galvanometer. The open access to reference information allows Walnut to expand the range of metallic materials that can be applied to the printing process.
CTC Walnut metal SLM 3D printer series includes:
- Walnut 26
- Walnut 18
- Walnut 11
Walnut 26 product information:
- Type of laser: fiber laser IPG (water-cooling)
- Wave length: 1064nm
- Power: 500W
- Laser Scan System Harry Scan20
- Valid spot diameter: 0.06-0.12mm
- Scanning galvanometer: F-THETA-LEN system
- Parts scanning speed: 6.0-12m/s
- Gas shield: argon shield
- Printing materials: stainless steel, die steel, cobalt-chromium alloy, nickel alloy, aluminium alloy and iron-base alloy, among other metals and metal-based materials
- Software: SOFTWARE
- Operating system: Windows 7, XP
- 3D software: Riverside-walnut OS
- Data format: Gcode
- CAD interface: 3D design software, STL file format
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SOURCE Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd.