Technology has sped up our lives, now anything off tempo is seen as being unharmonious. Some say home 3D printing is still so slow it’s like watching paint dry. Yet fun, like art, can be as much about the performance as the end product. For industry however, the utility of 3D printing is contingent upon its cost efficiency, including speed. Here is presented an innovation to solve that hindrance.
When some methods of adding things together to make something are used, they require support structures for the things being added together to form a structure. Plastic gets floppy when hot. So it can solidify without warping, supporting structures are printed out. These generally then have to be manually removed. Here, a company called Schmitt Ultraschalltechnik has created a new system to use the flow of liquids and fluids to automatically remove supporting structures with high quality results.
The objects are placed into a metal basket, which is hooked into the system. The combined Ultrasonic/Turbulent Flow system is controlled by an electronic interval program: the ultrasonic sequence loosens the support structure particles; the ‘Turbulent Flow’ sequence dissolves the particles and washes them off.
Roland Schmitt, Owner of Schmitt Ultraschalltechnik and a Technical Designer defines the problem that the company isolated: “…the fast production of 3D prints is impressive, the availability of the final product is instead often delayed due to time consuming and often manual removal of the support material.” On his company’s solution, he says: “The better alternative is fast, efficient and economical removal utilising our system which we specifically developed for this purpose. After extensive tests with different support materials regarding the ideal calibration and matching of frequency, amplitude, cleaning liquid, interval and temperature we can now offer a solution, which removes the support structure of your 3D prints in a cost – and time efficient way.”
The systems are available with different liquid capacities as straight Turbulent Flow systems and as combined Ultrasonic/Turbulent Flow systems.