Edelstahl-Mechanik GmbH, Göppingen, Germany, has begun using the MEBA 3D 335 band saw machine for the removal of additively manufactured parts from the build plate, without damage being done to the manufacture components or the base plates.
The company’s thirty-year history began with the development and application of laser cutting processes, the mechanical processing of metals of all kinds, welding and apparatus construction to the production and distribution of stainless-steel products.
Josef Eisele, Managing Director and owner, stated, “Our company has always been characterised by reliability, professionalism and flexibility. From the very beginning, we have seen ourselves as a partner to our customers, for whom we not only want to be a manufacturing company, but, above all, a professional consultant and service provider in the areas of development and design. It is the combination of technical know-how and customer proximity that makes up the special quality and that is consciously cultivated by us as management.”
To achieve these goals, the company aims for all of its locations to have state-of-the-art machinery – the latest addition being Additive Manufacturing technology. With its entry into Additive Manufacturing, the company began to study how best to separate components from the base plate. Since Meba was able to supply a special saw for AM, Josef Eisele stated that there was no question about the product Edelstahl-Mechanik would select.
The idea that parts are often manufactured with the latest technology, only to require manual separation using somewhat archaic methods, spurred Meba’s developers to find a higher-tech solution. As a result, the company incorporated its band saw technology into a new ‘AM saw’, whereby additively manufactured workpieces are separated precisely and without damage from the metal base plate.
The MEBA 3D 335 is based on the straight-cut model MEBAeco 335, which is equipped with feed monitoring and a frequency-controlled ball screw drive. The AM saw is equipped with a special clamping device for holding metal base plates; the base plate can be moved as desired via linear guides and can be precisely aligned. The MEBA 3D 335 works with a two-column guided saw frame that is infinitely driven, allowing cutting and feed speed to be adjusted very finely. In combination with the right selection of band saw blades for the respective material to be separated, even filigree parts can reportedly be separated very precisely.
“The practical clamping system and the precise work of the band saw are convincing throughout. Compared to alternative solutions for separating the components, the Meba saw is not only time- and resource-efficient, but also cost-effective. In addition, the components have a very high quality in the end,” added Eisele.
In today’s production world, it is important to keep systems and machines as simple as possible. This includes ensuring simple operation and handling. The MEBA AM saw is intended to be operated intuitively, so that employees can be given relatively quick instruction on using the saw.
In addition to its reputed ease of handling, the MEBA AM saw is also said to easily meet the occupational health and safety criteria. Equipped with a protective enclosure and an industrial vacuum cleaner for removing coarse dust, the saw provides a clean working environment wherein the machine operator does not inhale powder or get it on their skin.
The investment in the saw is said to be small compared to the investment in the AM machine. The long service life of the band saw blade also keeps costs low. Utilisation and amortisation of the saw are also made simpler by the fact that MEBA3D 335 saws can also be used for standard sawing work with a low conversion effort.
“We needed a solution to remove the 3D-printed parts from the base plate. As a further positive side effect, the saw can also be used for standard sawing tasks and is, therefore, the perfect complement to the 3D printer in the overall package,” Eisele concluded.