Surface solutions provider Walther Trowal, headquartered in Haan, Germany, is to showcase its tub vibrator TRT 83/87, used for finishing the surface of additively manufactured components, at this year’s Formnext. Intended for smaller manufacturing batches, this mass finishing machine is said to create smooth, polished surface finishes, even in difficult-to-reach internal passages and undercuts.
The company’s AM post-process mass finishing machines are explicitly developed for additively manufactured components, being specifically adapted to the surface roughness conditions created by AM processes including support structure remnants and sintered-on powder residues.
Typically, one or several work pieces are placed into the processing bowl filled with suitable grinding or polishing media. The vibratory energy induced into the bowl causes not only an intensive rubbing motion, but also creates a considerable pressure between the media and work pieces. Within relatively short cycle times this produces very smooth, homogeneous surface finishes.
“Initially, we developed this compact, easy-to-operate machine for cleaning metallic work pieces and are manufacturing it today in relatively large volumes,” stated Christoph Cruse, Sales Director. “This allows us offering the machine at a very competitive price. For larger work piece batches that cannot be processed by freely tumbling in the processing media, we offer the rotary vibrator AM 2.”
In the AM 2, specially developed for finishing AM components, the work pieces are mounted to the bottom of the processing bowl, creating a particularly intensive motion between the polishing media and components. One benefit of this processing mode is that the firmly mounted work pieces cannot get scratched or nicked by touching each other during the finishing process.
The vibrators of the AM series are equipped with three vibratory motors creating an overlapping motion of the polishing media and components. This results in a homogeneous and gentle grinding/polishing effect of the media on the work pieces whereby any delicate, thin work piece contours do not break off or warp.