Velo3D developed a manufacturing process for additively manufacturing parts in foundry-grade F357 aluminum alloy using its Sapphire® metal 3D printing system. The alloy enables 3D printing of parts that have traditionally been manufactured using die and other shape casting practices. While there are other aluminum alloys that are more commonly used in metal additive manufacturing (such as AlSi10Mg), the F357 alloy can be anodized and shares characteristics with A356, a widely used casting alloy.
“Aluminum F357 has already been certified for mission-critical applications — unlike some exotic alloys — so it was a logical addition to our materials portfolio,” said Benny Buller, founder and CEO of Velo3D. “We will continue to add more compatible materials that enable customers to print parts they couldn’t before, yet with even better material properties than traditional manufacturing.”
The additive manufacturing process for the F357 aluminum alloy was developed jointly with PWR, a global supplier of advanced cooling solutions to Formula 1, NASCAR, and other racing series, along with automotive, military, and aerospace industries. The two companies initiated their partnership in 2019.
“We chose aluminum F357 due to its ideal material properties to suit thermal performance, machining and weldability,” states Matthew Bryson, general manager for PWR. “Our ability to print free-form and lightweight structures for heat transfer applications with our Sapphire system from VELO3D will further enhance performance and packaging optimization opportunities for our product range and provide significant value to our customers.”