Airbus Subsidiary Celebrates Holidays with Four-Laser 3D Printer by Farsoon

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APWORKS, a German manufacturing subsidiary of aerospace titan Airbus (EPA: AIR), has strategically upgraded its production capacity by integrating Farsoon’s mid-to-large-size FS422M-4 3D printer (SHA: 688433). This printer is a quadruple laser production unit designed specifically for creating high precision complex metal components, particularly for automotive and aerospace applications. Delivered right before Christmas, the Farsoon machine dovetails with APWORKS’s current growth and production needs, starting a broader collaboration with Farsoon for innovative, high-quality, sustainable manufacturing.

The partnership aims to qualify the use of Scalmalloy in the FS422M-4 3D printer. Scalmalloy, a patented high-strength aluminum alloy, is appreciated for its lightness and superior performance features. Essential in sectors where weight and strength must co-exist, APWORKS developed Scalmalloy specifically for additive manufacturing (AM) purposes.

Scalmalloy fit for aerospace, motorsport, automotive, and other pioneering industries, sets itself apart with its unique blend of lightweight and mechanical robustness. Its utilization is increasingly consequential in fabricating parts for spacecraft, cycling, robotics, and marine gear. Using the FS422M-4 3D printer, APWORKS has defined objectives for simplified Scalmalloy part productions, thereby boosting its reach and functionality across these sectors. Chosen by APWORKS in November 2023, the Farsoon FS422M-4 is destined to be a game changer in their quest for sustainable and efficient manufacturing procedures.

Production Shift

Jon Meyer, CEO of APWORKS, remarked, “We are very excited to take this step with FARSOON. We believe that it will enable us to scale our production of high-quality Scalmalloy parts in the most economical way possible. For the last ten years, we have focused on developing applications of Metal Additive Manufacturing which add value for our customers. We design and produce products with the highest performance and quality, supporting customers across a wide range of industries.”

Farsoon FS422M-4. Image courtesy of Farsoon.

Known for its substantial printing area (425 mm x 425 mm x 550 mm) and four laser technology, the FS422M-4 laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) system aligns perfectly with APWORKS’s requirements for high-quality serial production. The FS422M is a second-generation metal printer designed under the CAMS (Continuous Additive Manufacturing Solution) concept, offering continuous production capability. Also, like all Farsoon machines, the FS422M-4 is an open platform that offers the user a high degree of control to tailor processing parameters for industrial application requirements and cost-competitive metal AM.

However, Farsoon’s FS422M-4 system is part of its broader success story. The Chinese-based company recently announced a significant achievement, having sold 1000 systems to global customers by the end of November 2023. Notably, in the past three years, half of these sales have been medium-large format machines measuring 400mm and above.

3D Milestone

APWORKS’ choice for Farsoon’s FS422M-4 emphasizes an industry shift towards larger format, more laser systems. This change increases efficiency and productivity, making metal additive manufacturing more financially feasible for various applications.

Meyer states, “We’ve always aimed at broadening the applications of Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM), which has often been hindered by economic constraints. The total cost of ownership, along with the productivity of our AM systems, is a decisive factor in the areas we can provide value. The Farsoon FS422M-4 presents us with a significant change in overall cost of ownership and productivity, enabling us to explore applications that were previously not economically viable. This cooperation with Farsoon allows us to grow our business further, enabling more customers to enjoy the advantages this technology offers.”

The collaboration between APWORKS and Farsoon goes beyond just a business deal. It’s a strategic alliance set to make considerable contributions to the metal AM landscape in Europe. According to Meyer, this cooperation will “allow more customers to reap the benefits that this technology offers,” establishing a new industry standard for innovation, efficiency, and quality.

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