German additive manufacturing (AM) post processing solutions provider, Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH has introduced a new compact machine to its line of automated powder removal systems.
The SFM-AT200 is a small-footprint machine designed for the removal of powder in metal 3D printed parts up to 300 x 300 x 230 mm (11.8 x 11.8 x 9.1 inches) and build plates of up to 60kg. The system automates the process of removing excess unmelted powder through systematic rotation and controlled vibration of laser melted metal parts, releasing powder trapped in voids and internal channels. Solukon claims its automated solutions can deliver a time saving up to 90% compared to conventional cleaning processes.
“The SFM-AT200 incorporates the automatic features that Solukon has developed on its large frame systems into a compact platform, designed for use with small- to medium-sized metal powder bed fusion systems”, says Solukon Co-founder Andreas Hartmann. “Customers already working with our large frame systems have validated what they require for high quality parts cleaning and hazard management, and now we are able to meet those needs with an entry-level system incorporating state-of-art solutions for depowdering.”
Printed parts are fixed onto the processing table which rotates in a single axis in a pre-planned path to release unused powder from complex parts and inner channels. At the same time, a controlled variable-frequency vibration device targets the release of even stubborn and compacted powder from inside the parts.
The SFM-AT200 is a closed system and comes equipped with a nitrogen or argon gas infusion system to allow for also safe processing of critical materials such as titanium or aluminium alloys in an inert atmosphere. The removed powder can be collected for further processing and completely recycled in an enhanced safety environment.
Co–founder Dominik Schmid added: “In addition to a smaller footprint, the system also reduces inert gas consumption when used for processing reactive powders such as aluminium or titanium, which pose risks for explosion if not handled correctly. Thanks to our sealed cleaning process with the safety-monitored infusion of inert protective gas, the systems are certified for the safe processing of these materials.”
The system is the latest in a range of powder removal machines launched at formnext powered by tct last year including the large SFM-AT800 depowdering system designed for the processing of large parts up to a 300 kg in weight, and the small to medium SFM-AT300 system for parts up to 300 x 300 x 350 mm.
The system will be officially launched at Rapid Tech in Erfurt,Germany on 5-7 June on booth 2-301.