Money no object I'd get a Concept Laser X Line 1000 R. Its about 1.5 million euros or so, it has a build chamber of 630 by 400 by 500 mm and it would be cool that only Daimler, Monash University and you had one. It prints aluminium and titanium alloys. You'd probably end up spending like 2.5 million if you threw in all the finishing equipment you'd need so you can make satellite and aircraft parts.
Maschinenlösungen für Laserschmelzverfahren Metall, Additive Fertigung
Here it is next to a person for scale:
And here it is arriving at Monash University in Australia:
So it won't exactly be the easiest of systems to operate but money no object thats what I'd buy. Look, if you could 3D print titanium, aluminium, iconel, implants, aerospace parts, satellite parts etc. using a 1 KW laser, soon enough nerds nearby will help you operate the machine. You will also need HVAC, finishing, post finishing, hardening, HIP, EDM, compressed air and gas installation, industrial power etc. But, it just works with an ethernet cable and windows, you'll get the hang of it soon enough. And its well worth it. You might want to reserve a space of around 500 square meters for the whole operation. Depending on the machine your looking at a space of around a 130 square meters just for the machine. Other options would be an SLM Solutions 500 HL, or an Eos M 400 or an Arcam Q10.
The SLM Solutions machine has a build volume of 500 by 280 by 325 mm, the optional powder sieving station is the bit on the left. Totally get that too. The printer has dimensions of 3 by 2.5 by 1.1 meter and weighs around two thousand kilos, the powder sieving station is larger than the printer weighing 2500 kilos and has dimensions of 3.5 by 2 by 2.7 meters, so do check if that works for you. The printer costs 700,000 Euros and prints stainless steel, hastaloy, iconel, cobalt chrome and lots of other metals.
SLM Solutions GmbH
The EOS M 400 with a 400 by 400 by 400 build volume. It prints in aluminium and iconel and you should totally also get the unpacking station when that comes out. Costs around 1.2 million.
EOS M 400 for Additive Manufacturing for the Industrial Production of High-Quality Large Metal Parts.
Another option is an Arcam Q10 or Q20. Are you more interested in orthopedic implants? Then get the Q10, more interested in titanium parts for aerospace? Get the Q20. Do spend some time deciding this because, I know money is no object but there is a 300k price difference between the two with the Q10 costing 565,000 Euros and the Q20 costing over 800,000.
Arcam AB – Additive Manufacturing for Implants and Aerospace, EBM
A skull implant made with a Q10
Or you could go with a Trumpf TruLaser Cell 7040, with a great build volume of 4000 by 2000 by 750mm. This will let you repair turbine blades and 3D print metals such as steel, copper and aluminium on top of damaged or worn metal to restore it. You can also use it to cut and weld. Again it will need its share of
accoutrements and will really come into its own in an industrial setting.
TruLaser Cell Series 7000
If you'd like to do some casting I'd opt for a Voxeljet VX4000. This has a build volume of 4 by 2 by 1 meter. So you could make super cool large things with this for only 1.4 million Euros. You'd have to of course get your own casting facility and it will take up a lot of space. But, just think of all the things you could build with it. Also, think of how cool it would be to walk around inside your own 3D printer.
large-format 3D printer VX4000
This designer made his own room divider with one:
Or maybe you'd prefer sculpture?
If you want to produce a lot of parts in metal inexpensively I'd suggest an ExOne S-Max as an alternative. I mean you will have to get a pattern shop, oven and some other stuff but its a great system. The build dimensions are 1800 by 1000 by 700mm so that lets you make a lot of stuff.
Maybe make a mold, make parts it will be great.
Or maybe some art
The power consumption on these systems is a bit much and you'd probably spend an additional 500k a year operating them. I know you did say money no object but, looking for a cheaper option? Why not go for plastic. Why not try an EOS P 800, Objet Connex 1000 or a SLA system. I think you'll find that these are also much cheaper to run and easier to operate. They also require less space.
The coolest thing about the EOS P 800 is that it prints PEEK which you can implant in the human body and can have shape memory properties. It costs 900,000 Euros and has a build volume of 730 X 380 X 540. You will need a depowdering station and HVAC, a mixing station and some other stuff but its super simple to operate when compared with the DMLS systems. If you wanted a very productive system to make lots of stuff I'd totally pick this one.
3D print your own UAV body with the less expensive EOS P 760, for only 580,000 Euro.
And as you can see you need a lot less equipment with a plastics system:
The Connex is relatively inexpensive when compared to the other machines coming in at 600,000 Euros, it has a build volume of 1000 by 800 by 500mm and you can do cool things such as 3D print gradient materials.
Also super cheap is a 3D Systems ProX 950. If you'd want a lot of detailed things I'd go for this one. Its only 600,000 euros and has a build volume of 1500 by 750 by 550mm. I think that its the coolest looking one too along with the Q20. With this machine you can make a full sized prototype car dashboard in two days.
Space in your house very constrained? Then perhaps opt for a 3D printer that can fit on your desktop. In my opinion the best destop 3D printer is the Envisiontec 3D Bioplotter Manufacturer Series. Its super tiny when compared to the other printers and only has a build volume of 150 by 150 by 150mm, only weighs 130 Kilos and could fit onto a reasonably sized sturdy desk. measuring in at only 976 by 623 by 773mm.
You can switch out five different print cartridges during one print job and print with lots of different materials such as hydroxypapatite, titanium, tricalcium phosphate, PCL, gelatin, agar, citosan, fibrin, colagen, polyurethane and silicone. You can heat and cool the print heads and print lots of different type of materials on one part. So you could print really cool things with this like bone, scaffolds for growing organs, tissue etc. And its a steal at only 150,000 Euro. Its a very accurate and well made system and currently in my opinion the best desktop system you could buy money no object. But, if I were given the choice I'd probably get the Concept Laser X Line R.
Actually after thinking it over I'm not so sure. I mean Sciaky say they have closed loop control as an option on their 3.6 million euro VX.4 system. In some respects the Concept Laser may be better but in terms of making large stuff this is better. Some may not consider it a true 3D printer but with a 4927 x 2286 by 1778 mm build volume you could really make some proper aircraft parts with it.
Sciaky, Inc. | Electron Beam Welding | Additive Manufacturing
I know you said money no object but you can pick up a used smaller one on ebay for 1.4 million US. Seems like a good deal. 30 day money back guarantee! But, buyer pays for shipping and that will be quite expensive.
SCIAKY Electron Beam Welder EBW Model VX.3-68x68x84 CNC
With this machine you can make really cool stuff like space station components, parts for the Dreamliner, parts for the Joint Strike Fighter. Lots of things. So I'm undecided between either the Sciaky or concept laser machine at the moment.