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Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH is teaming up with Siemens to release the SFM-AT800S post-processing system. The machine will allow users to finish up their metal prints and clean up the powder residues the process incurs. The system also features the latest developments in smart powder removal technologies. Metal print post-processing systems can help mitigate some of the issues of powder bed systems.

While metal printing has come a long way, a lot of laser powder systems still leave trapped bits of metal powder in the more complex multi-channel parts. The SFM-AT800S is a device that can rid the parts of these leftovers with two servo-motorised and endless rotating axes. The new axis-system the SFM-AT800S brings offers the possibility of moving the part along any three-dimensional contour giving it the ability to clean the very difficult in-ways, nooks and crannies of the various prints.

We strongly support this improved powder removal system. 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.” said Dr. Christoph Kiener, principal scientist at Siemens.

If a large company like Siemens is partnering for metal printing solutions, it means the industry has potential. Diving into the post-processing aspects with a device also means that there is a market for solutions right now. Siemens and Solukon have had dealings before as well, with the former employing the latter’s post-processing solutions in their own workflow.

Now, both companies are working together to develop a smart system for the same functionalities. Using the CAD file, the SFM-AT800S can find those difficult channels and predict residue patterns in complex parts. This will allow it to clean channels with stellar efficiency. Many companies have been working on the ability to predict powder patterns and ambient gas in metal prints. Metal print post-processing systems may allow companies to utilise temporary solutions, since unpredictability is an unsolved issue in powder bed systems. Of course, the quality of parts will remain unaltered, but it will solve residue issues.

Andreas Hartmann, co-founder and technical director of Solukon, adds that “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”.

Both companies will exhibit the system at formnext in Frankfurt later this year.

Featured image courtesy of Solukon and Siemens.

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