Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH, Augsburg, Germany, has partnered with Siemens to launch the advanced SFM-AT800S depowdering system for metal Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) Additive Manufacturing. The system reportedly incorporates the latest developments in smart functionality for the effective removal of metal powder from complex internal channels within AM parts.
The new SFM-AT800S contains two servo-motorised and endless rotating axes. While the standard SFM-AT800 is already able to move the part into any three-dimensional position, the new axis-system of the SFM-AT800S reportedly adds the possibility to move the part along any three-dimensional contour. This feature enables the cleaning of parts with intricate and conformational internal structures, such as cooling channels in injection molding tools.
The SFM-AT800-S was developed by Solukon in close collaboration with Siemens in order to improve the cleaning results of AM parts with high complexity, like heat exchangers and infusion nozzles. Siemens already uses Solukon systems for powder removal and, based on its experience depowdering AM parts, the company has now researched intelligent software to detect internal channels using the CAD file as digital twin and automatically calculate the optimal movement of the depowdering system during the cleaning process.
The incorporation of this system in connection with the internal geometry of the part is said to significantly improve the effectiveness of powder removal. The SFM-AT800S is engineered with Siemens Simatic controllers and Sinamics drive and motors solutions, allowing it to interface well with new software developments.
Dr Christoph Kiener, Principal Scientist at Siemens, stated, “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.”
Andreas Hartmann, co-founder and technical director of Solukon, added, “Siemens analyses AM 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.”
Dominik Schmid, Solukon’s Co-founder and CEO, concluded, “The SFM-AT800S, with its smart control features, is another step forward in intelligent, automated post-processing.” The new depowdering system will be exhibited at Formnext in Frankfurt, November 2018.