Siemens Business’ latest 3d printing facility in Worcester, UK is committed to direct metal AM. It presently houses over twenty machines with the capacity to increase to about 50. It is a stylish factory in each taste of the word. It covers the AM making line from digital file through to completed piece.
With one exemption; the excellent little blade that lies in the post-processing site of the factory basement. It managed to knock o supports from laser-sintered pieces intended for Siemens Power and Gas. It is also destined for clients in the automotive, aerospace, and other industrial businesses.
That gouge is not an unusual scene for any digital plant floor, copulated with blast closets for manual powder extraction. Thus, it shouldn’t be a surprise that German powder extraction solutions expert Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH took home the award.
This is in the post-processing class for the 2019 TCT Awards ceremony for its exceptional de-powdering solution. The product of a partnership with Siemens that now has five Solukon systems at its Worcestor location.
“We quickly realized that this was a very good fit for the type of de-powdering that we wanted for complex additively manufactured parts,” says Nick Turner, Project Manager at Materials Solutions.
“We’re now experimenting with the de-powdering times to make industrialized manufacture of additive parts more efficient and more reliable. Using the Solukon machines, we have confidence that we’ll de-powder the parts effectively meaning that we have more confidence in our downstream processes.” He added
The winning solution houses Siemens software experience with Solukon’s post-processing expertise into an SFM-AT800-S de-powdering arrangement. Furnished with a smart algorithm, the device rotates the piece in a series acquired from its CAD geometry, instead of programmed. This is to triumphantly and securely extract remaining powder from even the most inconvenient areas.
Andreas Hartmann, CEO/CTO at Solukon, stated, “Siemens came and said, ‘let’s do a software that detects the internal channels of the part so that our machine moves exactly along a path, along the labyrinth’. So, we changed the machine with two endless rotating axes to give more freedom for rotation.”
“It has given us a confidence in our process that wasn’t present before and that’s something that we pass on to our customers as well,” says Turner.
“So, with the confidence that we can effectively de- powder complex components, we know that we can focus our efforts on our other downstream processes and continue our automation journey knowing that this stage of the journey is a gap that has been filled effectively.”