Equispheres, an Ottawa-based supplier of aluminum powders for additive manufacturing (AM), has announced that Aconity3D, a manufacturer of AM equipment, will be distributing its feedstocks.
“Our material has proven to work well with Aconity3D equipment,” says Evan Butler-Jones, Vice-President – Product & Strategy for Equispheres. “This non-exclusive agreement allows Aconity3D to provide its customers with a powder qualified on Aconity3D printing equipment, that has been shown to achieve higher build rates than traditional aluminum powders when combined with the precision and power of Aconity3D’s equipment.”
Aconity3D and Equispheres have achieved impressive production speeds for 3D printing using the AconityTWO system and Equispheres’ specialized aluminum powders, which have attributes designed explicitly for AM. Equispheres powder is used to print the AconitySCAN, a key component of the Aconity3D line of printers.
“We are thrilled to build our partner network with a company of Aconity3D’s calibre,” says Butler-Jones. “They have a deep understanding of additive manufacturing and the skills, knowledge and equipment to push the boundaries of 3D printing of metal parts.”
According to the companies, the AconitySCAN can be printed 3x faster using Equispheres’ powder (i.e., 53 hours reduced to 17.5 hours) with no impact on mechanical properties. This reduction in production time reduces the cost to produce the part by greater than 50%. Such a productivity improvement will help advance metal additive manufacturing in cost-sensitive industries like automotive, the companies believe.
“This is a good example of how a high-precision printer and a high-performance powder can elevate additive manufacturing beyond conventional performance. Aconity3D has achieved fantastic results using our Performance line of powders, and now that same manufacturing advantage is available to any company embracing metal 3D printing,” Butler-Jones said.
Butler-Jones explains that the spherical and uniform Equispheres powder can take advantage of both the precision and configurability of modern 3D printers. “Equispheres’ powder can absorb the energy from a powerful one-kilowatt laser without disturbing the stability of the melt pool. This is not attainable with standard aluminum powders, and it becomes more important as the industry embraces newer higher-tech printing equipment.”
Equispheres sells its powder directly in North America and Europe. To serve the Japanese market, the company recently announced a distribution agreement with Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC)