3D Printers

Solukon and Siemens launch system for post-processing metal 3D prints

Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH, an additive post-processing specialist, has partnered with award winning German conglomerate Siemens to launch the SFM-AT800S.

The SFM-AT800S system is specifically designed for depowdering 3D printed parts made with powder bed fusion technology.  

Dr. Christoph Kiener, a Siemens Chief Sceintist, explained: “Powder-free, high-quality AM parts, occupational health and safety, as well as environmental topics regarding waste avoidance and powder reuse are very important for Siemens to process advanced designs also in our post-processing activities.”

Solukon will display the automated system at this year’s Formnext, Frankfurt (13-16 November).


Metal powder fusion post-processing

The depowdering system is a stainless steel chamber, which admits aluminum, titanium and nickel-based alloy parts with dimensions up to 800 x 400 x 550 mm. Large parts can be loaded with a crane into the system through a detachable roof.

Once a part has been loaded in the machine, the depowdering process begins. Using controlled vibrations with wide-ranging frequencies and motorized axis rotation, the system thoroughly cleans the metal sintered part of any residual metal powder.

After the automated process, the machine also supports manual cleaning with 6 bar pressure compressed air or inert gas. This can be done using the sealed glove ports of the SFM-AT800S.

The SFM-AT800S is fitted with Siemens SIMATIC controllers and Sinamics drive. Siemens is working with Solukon to keep the company’s depowdering systems up to date with rapid software developments.

On the collaboration with the automation leader, Andreas Hartmann, the co-founder of Solukon, said, “Siemens analyses additive manufacturing technologies from a holistic point of view and understands the digital requirements of the complete manufacturing chain, especially on a shop floor level. This expertise makes Siemens a perfect partner for advancing this new technology.”

Siemens' SIMATIC controllers. Image via Siemens.
Siemens’ SIMATIC controllers. Image via Siemens.

Automated post-processing

Earlier this year, Digital Metal, a metal 3D printing expert, announced an automation solution which uses a CNC machine to remove powder in the post-processing operation.

DyeMansion, a company specializing in automated post-processing workflows, announced last year that its ‘Print-to-product’ workflow will include depowdering post-processing method, the DyeMansion Powershot blasting system.

It was also reported that Additive Manufacturing Technologies, a post-processing expert partnered with Farsoon Technologies to introduce an automated depowdering system for polymer 3D printed parts.   

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Featured image shows the SFM-AT800S system. Image via Solukon