Trumpf recently unveiled a new 3D printer at Frankfurt’s Formnext, which is called TruPrint 2000, that lends itself to medical engineering and other applications with lofty standards and quality. The system has been revamped so inert gas now flows through it back to front, which enhances printed parts’ quality. In another new development, the operator can now remove excess powder from the component right there in the system rather than having to take it out and unpack it at a separate station, as in the past. This is easier and saves time when dealing with the smaller build chambers of 3D printers such as the TruPrint 2000. The newly designed machine now processes the printing powder in an inert gas environment, which prevents contaminants from infiltrating he powder circuit. This is a key advantage for sensitive medical devices and the like.
Highest productivity at low cost
The TruPrint 2000 features the multi-laser design. Two 300-watt lasers working in tandem illuminate the 3D printer’s entire build chamber to boost the system’s productivity. Its laser’s focal diameter is 55 micrometres so that it can print components with smoother surfaces, enhanced quality and intricate grid structures. The new printer is perfect at home printing parts out of titanium, a material that figures prominently in medical devices. Companies do not need a separate unpacking station, so they also save money with this printer.
Digital monitoring built in
Users enjoy the benefits of automated powder bed and melt pool quality monitoring. In the event of an error, the system notifies the operator, who can then take remedial action. Another great benefit is an end-to-end documentation trail that corroborates the quality of the printing process. This is a key prerequisite for the additive manufacturing of medical devices.
The company has already used the new machine to print interbody cages, which are implanted to add stability to the spine and to get implants to patients very fast. These can be inserted as a placeholder between two vertebrae to restore the vertebral segment’s natural height. The lasers’ small focal diameter lends itself to fabricating the implants’ intricate structures. Healthy bone tissue adheres well to these structures. It takes this new system just 24 hours to produce 19 spinal implants. It not only serves medical engineering companies well; it is also an excellent choice for dental applications and tool and mould making. With 300 watts of laser power, it has no trouble handling standard materials such as cobalt-chromium alloys. With that kind of performance, it can readily fabricate dental casts as well as injection-moulded parts with complex internal cooling channels.