TRUMPF enters joint venture for 3-D printing
TRUMPF, Ditzinger, Germany, has entered a joint venture in additive manufacturing with Italian laser manufacturer SISMA S.p.A. to co-develop production systems for 3-D printing of metal components.
The new enterprise, TRUMPF SISMA S.r.l., is based in Piovene Rocchette near Vicenza, Italy. SISMA has a 45 percent stake, while TRUMPF has the remaining 55 percent interest.
The technology, known as additive manufacturing, enables any component to be built up directly from a 3-D design program. The parts are created layer by layer from metallic powder, using the power of the laser. The technology has the potential to partially replace methods such as milling and casting. These components reportedly are as durable and long-lasting as their conventionally produced counterparts.
The joint venture partners want to provide robust and productive machines for mass production. “Many machines on the market today are aimed more at prototype construction,” said Dr. Peter Leibinger, head of TRUMPF Laser Technology. “In the future, however, the most important criterion where additive manufacturing lines are concerned will be their suitability for industrial applications.”
SISMA began development work on an additive manufacturing machine for the production of small metallic components several years ago.
TRUMPF, a pioneer in additive manufacturing, entered the sector in 2000. However, its TrumaForm, a universal tool for the generative manufacturing of metallic materials, was years ahead of its time since the market for serial production of components had not yet developed. At the start of this year, TRUMPF entered the additive manufacturing business once again, and is now benefiting from earlier development work as well as from its ever-increasing expertise in the related process of laser deposition welding, which is already being used today in repair and coating applications.