Post Processing

M&H leverages Solukon’s SFM-AT1000-S for superior post-processing

Austrian 3D printing company M&H has integrated post-processing systems manufacturer Solukon’s SFM-AT1000-S depowdering system, to bolster the cleaning and post-processing of 3D printed metal parts.

The SFM-AT1000-S is engineered to eliminate powder residues from intricate internal channels and cavities within complex parts. Large and heavy metal components, reaching heights of up to 1,000 mm and weighing a maximum of 800 kg, along with tasks demanding high post-processing standards, can be efficiently cleared of powder residues using this powder removal system.

“The SFM-AT1000-S, sets new standards in the manufacturing industry – also thanks to its compatibility with our innovative SPR-Pathfinder® software. With this unique software, individual motion patterns can be calculated automatically for each component based on the CAD file. By optimizing and automating their post-processing procedures, we offer our customers – like M&H – a clear competitive advantage. With the Digital-Factory-Tool, a sensor and interface kit, our partners also have maximum transparency over the depowdering process,” said, Andreas Hartmann, CEO and CTO of Solukon.

Patrick Herzig, CEO and Philipp Schwemberger, Head of Additive Manufacturing at M&H CNC-Technik. Photo via Solukon.
Patrick Herzig, CEO and Philipp Schwemberger, Head of Additive Manufacturing at M&H CNC-Technik. Photo via Solukon.

Cleaning complex metal parts with precision and safety

The SFM-AT1000-S incorporates two rotating axes with servo drive technology, facilitating precise movement along customizable paths. Additionally, it includes a built-in high-frequency knocker designed to dislodge powder clumps, ensuring comprehensive cleaning, even in confined channels. Notably, the system’s compatibility with reactive materials enables inert gas inerting, ensuring adherence to safety standards.

M&H CEO, Patrick Herzig, explains the system’s precision as a crucial advantage, especially in tackling the intricacies of complex geometries. With its incorporation into its workflow, M&H aims to establish fresh benchmarks in post-processing techniques across a spectrum of materials, ranging from titanium and aluminum to stainless steel, Scalmalloy, and Inconel.

M&H’s integration of the SFM-AT1000-S transcends standard practices, reaching into specialized sectors like aerospace and international racing, notably Formula 1. Herzig emphasizes the system’s pivotal role in meeting the rigorous demands of these industries, stressing its precision and reliability. Additionally, when coupled with the recently acquired SLM 800 3D metal printer, M&H stands poised for large-scale manufacturing of complex components, positioning itself favorably in the competitive landscape.

Solukon’s post-processing expertise used in diverse sectors

Many companies have been leveraging Solukon’s post-processing expertise for their workflow. Collaborating closely, CNC milling machines specialist Reichenbacher and Solukon improved the post-processing of 3D printed metal components by automating both unpacking and depowdering processes. This collaborative effort seamlessly integrated the removal of unfused powder from complex structures. The procedure commences with loading the entire container, housing the part, into the SFM-AT1000-S. 

Through rotational movement, loose powder is emptied from the container, subsequently undergoing external preparation. Following this step, Solukon’s system harnesses Smart Powder Recuperation (SPR) technology to meticulously clean the part, utilizing precise movements derived from the part’s CAD file. Capable of handling containers weighing up to 800 kg, the solution employs high-frequency vibration to effectively address challenging powder clumps nestled within the part’s internal channels.

A year before that, private US aerospace firm Launcher selected Solukon as its preferred supplier for depowdering systems, integrating SFM-AT1000-S for post-processing large 3D printed rocket parts. Depowdering cooling channels and internal structures proves complex and time-consuming, particularly for copper components prone to clogging. 

Solukon’s systems, driven by SPR technology, leverage adjustable two-axis rotation and targeted vibration to remove excess powder automatically, enhancing efficiency, safety, and quality while minimizing costs. Launcher installed SFM-AT1000-S to completely free rocket engines and combustion chambers from excess powder, addressing challenges in the post-processing of complex metal parts.

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Featured image shows Patrick Herzig, CEO and Philipp Schwemberger, Head of Additive Manufacturing at M&H CNC-Technik. Photo via Solukon.