Solukon, a Germany-based company is changing the way we perceive post-processing. Two years after the release of the SFM-AT800S, its smart de-powdering system, the company unveils today a new format for the de-powdering of components produced with LB-PBF technology.
Named SFM-AT1000, the system is designed for the powder removal of large components that can reach up to 460 x 460 x 1,000 mm³ and 500 x 280 x 875 mm³.
As a reminder, the manufacturer of AM peripheral systems debuted on the market seven years ago with the SFM-AT800 system. Over time, the company has helped several industrials to understand the vital role of post-processing in a production workflow. Its technology has been acknowledged by key players of the industry including CERN, Siemens, MBFZ toolcraft and Morf3D, to name a few of them, and has positioned the company as a true expert in the field of automated cleaning of additive manufactured metal components.
Key features of the Solukon de-powdering process
Solukon’s de-powdering process consists of programmable pivoting of the components including the building platform around two spatial axes. The adjustable frequency enables the desired optimization of the powder flow, not to mention that it enables the cleaning of even the smallest openings and channels, which is of paramount importance for thermal downstream processes.
“Our aim is to give the industry a smart and highly automated and sustainable tool to close the gap between manufacturing and post processing.
The process is fully automated and takes place in a protected and safety-controlled atmosphere, thus avoiding contact with health-endangering fine. Our technology helps to save labor time, ensures the most stringent demands of health and safety are met, and increases significantly the quality process. At the same time, it reclaims the residual powder without contamination and makes it available for further processing and re-use”, explains Andreas Hartmann Co-founder and technical director.
As far as the SFM-AT1000 is concerned, an inquiry from Starnberg-based AMCM GmbH led to its development. The EOS company provides the industry with various AM services including material development or creation of specific parts for machines, with the goal of meeting the needs that were not met by standardized AM products.
AMCM GmbH has recently introduced the AMCM M4K printers with a component size range of 450 x 450 x 1,000 mm³. Such type of systems opens up new possibilities in demanding industries. They are for instance the ideal candidate for the production of 3D printed rocket engines. In order to enable an optimal production of components of such a size, it was necessary to have a powder-removal system whose size is compatible with the manufactured parts.
The development of the SFM-AT1000 is based on the SFM-AT800-S system – which delivers a loading volume of 800 x 400 x 550 mm³ and 300 kg component weight. The main difference between both systems is that the new format has a reinforced slewing system with a novel and particularly compact design.
The new de-powdering system enables industrials to move the higher loads with ease while keeping the chamber volume as small as possible to minimize inert gas consumption. Furthermore, with two smart programmable servo drives, the swivel system makes it easy to move the component not only into any spatial position but also along any imaginable path. This is especially helpful for depowdering complicate internal structures like cooling channels.
Solukon’s systems are CE-conform, equipped with UL-conform components and build to meet the requirements of NFPA 79.
From day 1, Solukon made it clear that its goal was to enable companies to have a complete production system by eliminating all risks related to health and safety and increasing efficiency through intelligent automation. Given the crucial role of post-processing, the company is getting there, at a fast pace.
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