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1. (WO2019067545) HIGH CAPACITY APPARATUS FOR LAYERED MANUFACTURING FROM POWDERED MATERIALS
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What is claimed:

1. A system for fabricating a three dimensional article of manufacture in a layer-by-layer manner comprising:

a build module having a lateral side and including a vertically displaceable build platform for receiving layers of powder during the fabrication of the three dimensional article of manufacture;

a powder storage module located at least partially below the build module, the powder storage module having a lateral side and defining an internal volume for holding powder;

a powder transport conduit that transports the powder to a lateral location that is laterally offset from the lateral side of the powder storage module;

a vertical powder transport module that is laterally offset from the lateral sides of the build module and the powder storage module and including a lower end for receiving powder from the lateral location and an upper end having a laterally extending powder outlet; and

a powder layering apparatus configured to receive the powder from the laterally extending powder outlet and to form layers of the powder over the build platform.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the build module includes a central build chamber containing the vertically displaceable build platform and a portion of an overflow chamber between the build chamber and the lateral side of the build module.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein the powder storage module is located directly below the build module.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein the internal volume of the powder storage module includes a portion that tapers downwardly toward a powder outlet.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein the powder transport conduit is a chute that slopes downwardly and laterally from the powder outlet valve to the lateral location.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein the powder transport conduit includes an extension of the internal volume of the powder storage module.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein the powder transport conduit is substantially horizontal and includes an internal rotating helical screw to transport the powder to the lateral location.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein the vertical powder transport module is a vertical tube with an internal helical screw whereby rotation of the internal screw raises the powder up through the tube.

9. The system of claim 1 wherein the powder layering apparatus includes a fixed hopper and a translating coater, the laterally extending powder outlet dispenses powder into the fixed hopper, the fixed hopper dispenses powder into the translating coater.

10. The system of claim 1 further comprising a vacuum chamber containing the build module, the storage module, the powder transport conduit, the vertical powder transport module, and the powder layering apparatus.

11. A system for fabricating a three dimensional article of manufacture in a layer-by-layer manner comprising:

a build module including a vertically displaceable build platform for receiving layers of powder during the fabrication of the three dimensional article of manufacture, the build module having a lateral side;

a powder storage module located at least partially below the build module, the powder storage module having a lateral side and defining an internal volume for holding powder and includes a powder outlet that receives powder from the internal volume;

a powder tank;

a powder transport conduit configured to receive powder from a lower end of the powder storage module and to transport the powder to the powder tank;

a vertical powder transport module that is laterally offset from the lateral sides of the build module and the powder storage module and including a lower end for receiving powder from the powder tank and an upper end having a laterally extending outlet;

a fixed hopper positioned above the build module, an upper portion of the hopper receiving powder from the laterally extending outlet of the vertical powder transport module, the hopper extending downwardly to a dispensing end, the dispensing end positioned above the build module proximate to the lateral side; and

a powder coater that moves laterally across the build module for depositing layers of powder upon the build platform, the powder coater receives powder by positioning under the dispensing end of the fixed hopper.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein the internal volume of the storage module tapers downwardly toward the powder outlet.

13. The system of claim 12 wherein the powder outlet includes a powder outlet valve.

14. The system of claim 11 wherein the powder transport conduit is a sloping vibrating chute that slopes downwardly and laterally from the powder outlet to the powder tank.

15. The system of claim 11 wherein the powder transport conduit incorporates an internally rotating helical screw.

16. The system of claim 15 wherein the powder transport conduit is substantially horizontal.

17. The system of claim 11 wherein the vertical powder transport module is a vertical tube with an internal helical screw whereby rotation of the internal screw raises the powder up through the tube.

18. The system of claim 11 further comprising a vacuum chamber containing the build module, the storage module, sloping powder transport conduit, the vertical powder transport module, the fixed hopper, and the powder coater.

19. The system of claim 11 wherein the build module includes a central build chamber containing the vertically displaceabie build platform and an overflow chamber between the build chamber and the lateral side of the build module.

20. The system of claim 19 wherein the powder coater parks over the overflow chamber to receive powder from the dispensing end of the hopper.