Velo3D FAQs: Answering The Tough Metal AM Questions

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Business Drivers

If you’re new to the world of metal additive manufacturing (AM), it can be hard enough just getting your footing with the technology, let alone distinguishing between the dozens of unique solutions on the market. Each company attempts to make their own mark through technology to change the way parts are manufactured in different ways.

At Velo3D, we focus our end-to-end solution on a synergy of software and hardware that gives engineers better control of the manufacturing process from design, to build, to quality assurance stages. Through our advanced metal AM system, we enable teams to achieve the highest quality parts without compromise.

When evaluating technologies and individual companies, there are several common questions that consistently arise. In this article we’ll address some of the most frequent questions surrounding metal AM generally, and Velo3D specifically.

What makes Velo3D different from other metal AM solutions?

What distinguishes Velo3D’s approach to metal AM is our comprehensive process that sees parts through every phase of their production lifecycle. By integrating all phases of the manufacturing process into one unified system, we provide metal 3D printing solutions for mission-critical parts used for space exploration, to enhance transportation efficiency, and to produce cleaner energy. Our advanced solution helps innovators build the complex parts they need without compromising design or quality, empowering the visionaries of today to build the technologies of tomorrow.

The Velo3D metal AM solution is comprised of four distinct components: Flow™ print preparation software; Sapphire® family of metal 3D printers (Sapphire®, Sapphire® 1MZ and Sapphire® XC); and Assure™ real-time quality assurance software, all of which are enabled by Intelligent Fusion®, a process that binds all of the above into one complete end-to-end manufacturing solution.

What are the benefits of the Velo3D end-to-end solution?

By placing the entire product lifecycle on a unified system, teams are given freedom and agility in their manufacturing that expresses itself in several beneficial ways. The Velo3D end-to-end metal AM solution cuts lead times for traditionally manufactured parts by up to 75% without transportation delays, production line modification costs, supplier management and compliance costs, inventory, and warehousing costs, all while providing the production flexibility to instantly respond to customer and market demands.

A huge benefit of the Velo3D solution is supply chain freedom. When parts are designed and prepared in the Flow™ software, teams are left with what we refer to as a Velo3D “Golden Print File”. Having one standard print file allows you to build that exact part on any Velo3D machine anywhere in the world—or any machine across the fleet in your own facility—without additional production line setup expense. This on-demand approach to the production of complex parts has wide-ranging impacts on entire companies by lowering the logistical burden of warehousing parts and reducing the time it takes to get part replacements.

What industries does Velo3D support?

Our focus is currently on solutions for businesses in the aerospace, space, industrial power, and oil and gas industries which have enormous catalogs of specialized parts. Production of these parts using conventional subtractive manufacturing techniques generally comes with very long lead times and high embedded cost structures relative to AM solutions. Further, production of these high value parts using subtractive manufacturing techniques require the combination of many smaller parts into the final product.

What types of parts are typically produced with Velo3D?

Velo3D works with OEMs and contract manufacturers who produce a wide array of parts on Velo systems. Many of these parts are highly-complex with unique geometries not achievable through traditional manufacturing methods or conventional AM systems. These include but are not limited to:

Do I need to buy the solution or can I get a part from a service provider?

The answer is either or both. Velo3D has built a global network of contract manufacturers that can produce parts as needed, and our team can assist in the coordination of CMs to get companies the parts they need.

For OEMs, contract manufacturers and companies looking to produce their own parts, Velo3D also provides purchase options for our family of metal AM solutions enabling companies to start small and grow over time.

  • Sapphire® – for development and low volumes
  • Sapphire® 1MZ for taller parts
  • Sapphire® XC for production volume scale

Velo3D Sapphire® Printer

Will metal AM ever reach scale to have printers on the manufacturing floor?

Yes! And it’s happening already. Velo3D’s Sapphire® XC solution is built for exactly that purpose. It reduces part costs up to 60% and has the capacity for many parts. As traditional manufacturing evolves, metal AM printers will become integral to manufacturing floors because of the many advantages the technology offers innovative teams.

In part two of this series, we’ll explore some of the common questions surrounding the different components of Velo3D’s end-to-end system.

Have a question or need to get in touch? Reach out to the experts at Velo3D today.


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About the Author

Amir Iliaifar

Sr. Content Marketing Manager

Amir Iliaifar is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Velo3D where he oversees the production and distribution of Velo3D’s global digital content marketing initiatives. Prior to joining the company, Amir worked for a leading professional drone manufacturer, several SaaS companies, and as an automotive tech journalist. He holds a Master of Arts in Digital Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.