Solukon optimises its depowdering system for SLM Solutions’ NXG XII 600

April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

Solukon has equipped its SFM-AT1000-S automatic depowdering system with an optimised swivel arm for parts made using the NXG XII 600 (Courtesy Solukon)
Solukon has equipped its SFM-AT1000-S automatic depowdering system with an optimised swivel arm for parts made using the NXG XII 600 (Courtesy Solukon)

Solukon, Augsburg, Germany, has equipped its SFM-AT1000-S, an automatic depowdering system for additively manufactured components, with an optimised swivel arm for parts made using the NXG XII 600 Additive Manufacturing machine from SLM Solutions, Lübeck, Germany. The optional front-top loading feature is reported to now make it easier to handle parts of up to 800 kg.

The NXG XII 600 is used to manufacture particularly large and heavy metal parts, which can place high demands on depowdering systems. The machine has a build plate of 600 x 600 x 660 mm, which locates the centre of gravity closer to the rotational axis of the swivel arm when they are placed in the SFM-AT1000-S. To reach an optimal centre of gravity balance position, Solukon now offers a version of the SFM-AT1000-S with a short swivel arm. The short swivel arm is also intended to make parts easier to access if users want to finish depowdering manually via the sealed glove ports.

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The pneumatic top is said to make loading easier; when the top opens, it folds up together with the upper door frame, such that the part can be inserted at turntable height with even more flexibility – it’s no longer necessary to ‘thread in’ the part from above. This enables particularly large and heavy parts to be lifted conveniently into the system via crane by using lifting tools provided by SLM Solutions. Additionally, the front door can be opened wider than before, which makes loading and unloading bulky parts easier.

Loading the NXG XII 600 part into a Solukon SFM-AT1000-S via a crane. A special centering element for the build plate is said to make positioning much easier (Courtesy Solukon)
Loading the NXG XII 600 part into a Solukon SFM-AT1000-S via a crane. A special centering element for the build plate is said to make positioning much easier (Courtesy Solukon)

As with all Solukon systems, the SFM-AT1000-S is based on the company’s Smart Powder Recuperation (SPR) technology. Using automated, programmable rotation around two axes and adjustable vibration, the depowdering machines remove all powder residues in a part’s internal channels in a fully automated process. The controlled flow of powder out of the most intricate channels and windings becomes more difficult when using materials like copper or aluminium, since these materials often get clogged inside internal channels. A new knocker was designed to address this problem. With finely adjustable mechanical knocks, clogged powder is loosened and is able to flow out in a controlled manner.

With the development of the new Solukon SFM-AT1000-S specifically equipped for the NXG XII 600, Solukon and SLM Solutions have strengthened their long-standing partnership.

“The NXG XII 600 is the gold standard in industrial 3D printing. We are also collaborating with the market leader in the area of depowdering, and are glad that Solukon is launching a depowdering solution that fits our system perfectly,” stated Sebastian Feist, Product Manager for Factory Integration & Periphery from SLM Solutions.

Andreas Hartmann, Solukon’s CEO/CTO, is certain that his company is equipped to meet the trend of increasingly large parts. “The NXG XII 600 from SLM Solutions has set the entire large printer market in motion. We are happy that we can now offer the numerous NXG XII 600 users a customised depowdering system as well. Even larger parts measuring 1,500 mm, produced on an NXG XII 600E for example, or more on the Z-axis will inevitably require Solukon automated depowdering solutions. We are in ongoing discussion with manufacturers to ensure that we can always provide the right system. The SFM-AT1000-S for NXG XII 600 will not be the last Solukon system for the large-format printers.”

The SFM-AT1000-S is expected to launch at this year’s RAPID + TCT in Chicago, Illinois, USA, from May 2-4.

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April 18, 2023

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