Hermeus to Build Aircraft With Velo3D Sapphire Printers

Using Velo3D’s metal additive manufacturing solution, the hypersonics aerospace company will 3D print parts for its Mach 5 Chimera engine and Quarterhorse aircraft.

Using Velo3D’s metal additive manufacturing solution, the hypersonics company will 3D print parts for its Mach 5 Chimera engine and Quarterhorse aircraft.

Hermeus’ first aircraft, Quarterhorse, is an autonomous aircraft designed to touch high Mach speeds and prove reusability. Image courtesy of Velo3D.


Velo3D, Inc., a metal additive manufacturing technology company for parts, reports that Hermeus, a company developing hypersonic aircraft for defense and commercial applications, has acquired an original Sapphire and a large-format Sapphire XC that is designed for high-volume production. The printers, both of which will be calibrated for Inconel 718, will be used to build parts for Hermeus’ Chimera engine and Quarterhorse aircraft.

“Metal additive manufacturing is a core component of our plan to vertically integrate production,” says Glenn Case, CTO at Hermeus. “As we explore the capabilities of Velo3D’s additive manufacturing technology, we’ll be looking for ways to increase performance, consolidate components, reduce weight of our aircraft, and minimize external dependencies.” 

Hermeus was founded in 2018 to accelerate air travel with hypersonic aircraft. The company has more than $130 million in funding, including a $100 million Series B and contracts with the U.S. Air Force. It also has support from NASA and other U.S. government agencies as well as funding from aerospace innovators like RTX Ventures, the venture capital group of Raytheon Technologies.

The Chimera engine is a turbine-based combined cycle engine that will power Hermeus’ first aircraft, Quarterhorse, an autonomous aircraft designed to touch high Mach speeds and prove reusability. Quarterhorse’s first flight is planned for 2023.

“Hypersonics is an extremely challenging subset of the aviation industry and at the speeds that Hermeus will achieve, temperature, vibration, and aerodynamics play major factors in the flight of the aircraft,” says Benny Buller, Velo3D CEO and founder. “There are not many teams with the deep experience in hypersonics, aviation, and space flight that Hermeus has, and we’re truly honored to provide Sapphire printers to help them achieve their goals.”

Velo3D’s metal additive manufacturing technology has seen adoption in the hypersonics and NewSpace industries due to its ability to build the complex parts engineers need without compromising design, quality or performance. Customers can print existing designs without the need to design the parts for additive manufacturing or obtain specialized training. 

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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