Pratt & Whitney has acquired an end-to-end solution from Velo3D to evaluate the Sapphire family of metal 3D printers for manufacturing jet engine components.

This is the first Sapphire printer to be located at Pratt & Whitney, having previously used the leading metal additive manufacturing technology company’s contract manufacturer network to produce printed and finished parts.

Lighter weight components, more efficient systems

3D printing — also known as additive manufacturing — can improve the way high-value metal parts are built.

“Metal additive manufacturing can transform aviation and space systems by delivering unprecedented part consolidation, lighter weight components, and more efficient systems,” said Benny Buller, Velo3D Founder and CEO.

“We’re pleased to see Pratt & Whitney move forward with their own Sapphire XC printer. We’re eager to see how they innovate their most mission critical designs using the end-to-end solution and how the economies of scale of an in-house system help increase addressable use-cases.”

Future applications

“Pratt & Whitney looks forward to future applications using the Sapphire XC printer, and collaborations with other potential suppliers with the Velo3D capability, for Pratt & Whitney GTF and advanced engine programmes,” said Jesse Boyer, fellow, Additive Manufacturing, Pratt & Whitney.

The company’s new Sapphire XC printer is calibrated to print in Inconel 718, a nickel-based superalloy suited for extreme temperatures.

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