There is a lot going on

Despite, or maybe because of, the Corona pandemic, additive manufacturing continues to grow rapidly. AM Solutions is keeping up with this development by the establishment of its new technology center, introducing the next generation of the S1 post processing system, boosting sales and intensifying the cooperation with our partners. We are aggressively developing new machines and are constantly looking for improving our products. This will allow us to present new, innovative solutions in the near future.

At the moment no other technology is undergoing such rapid growth as additive manufacturing.  When it comes to post processing, AM Solutions is consolidating its leading position as a leader in 3D post processing methods by expanding its equipment sales around the world. With our global network of 16 branches we are able to develop process solutions that are tailored to the individual requirements of our customers. One of our recent success stories is the purchase of the innovative dry electro-polishing system DLyte 10D for polishing dental prosthesis by the turn-mill center TEAMZIEREIS specialized in dental products and job shop services.

In addition, AM Solutions was able to achieve its leading position by numerous internal projects and the consistent development of new and improvement of existing products. One example is the next generation of the S1 post processing system. This machine is setting new standards with such features as the pivoting rotary basket for ergonomic and dirt-free work piece loading and unloading, the swiveling blast nozzles preventing re-contamination or the ATEX compliant equipment for de-powdering and cleaning of plastic components.

A new milestone for the development and specification of processes and products for post processing of 3D printed components was set by establishing the new technology center in Untermerzbach.  On an area of around 400 square meters AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology presents not only its entire equipment range but also the machinery of its partner companies.  This unique setup allows conducting processing trials with 3D printed components and developing engineering solutions for products made by additive manufacturing. The test center equipment, covering the complete 3D process chain, guarantees that the technologically and economically best solution can be offered for any application.

To remain an active participant in the future development of additive manufacturing, we have also expanded our research & development network. We cooperate not only with universities and research institutes but also with numerous companies. Moreover, we are a member of the study group AM in the German association of equipment manufacturers. And we are also part of the networks  „Mobility goes Additive“ and „Medical goes Additive“.

I hope you will find our newsletter informative. You can contact me any time, if you have questions.

In the meantime, please stay healthy.

With best regards

Manuel Laux
Head of AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology

P. S.: Come and join our new AM Solutions LinkedIn channel!

The next generation of the S1 post processing system from AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology

Plastic components printed with powder based 3D printing systems require complete removal of residual powder and an excellent surface preparation. This is essential for the success of subsequent manufacturing operations like painting or coating. AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology, a division of the Rösler group and specialized in post processing, has completely re-designed its S1 surface treatment system. This cost-efficient plug-and-play unit is ideal for the automatic de-powdering and cleaning of small to mid-size work piece volumes.

The new machine design allows the easy switch from automatic to manual operation without time consuming re-tooling. This can be highly advantageous for processing of somewhat larger single components.  All the operator has to do is to unlock the rotary basket and move it to the rear of the blast cabinet. This provides work space for the manual handling and blasting of somewhat larger components. The clever design ensures that the operator is not exposed to any moving parts so that no additional safety features are necessary.

Automated de-powdering – fast, reliable and consistent
The integrated rotary basket allows the fully automatic processing of batches up to 25 liters and a maximum batch weight of 50 kg. The special basket design ensures optimal distribution and mixing of the components during the blast operation. This, in combination with the pivoting blast nozzles, guarantees the effective and gentle blast treatment of the components in short cycle times. Depending on the finishing task, the shot blast operation can be run with either glass beads or a suitable plastic media. Once the blast cycle is complete, contrary to conventional cabinets, where the blast nozzles are tilted upwards, in the S1 the blast nozzles are automatically swiveled out of the basket. This prevents any powder accumulated on the blast nozzle holder to fall back into the basket and re-contaminate the cleaned components during the subsequent shakeout.
For loading and unloading the basket swivels to the large opening in the cabin front but remains completely within the blast chamber. This allows the ergonomic loading and unloading of work pieces without the risk of contaminating the immediate machine environment with powder.
The PLC of the S1 allows the storing of multiple blast programs with work piece specific parameters like blast pressure and basket RPM. These parameters are continuously monitored during the complete process. They can be stored in the machine controls or transmitted to a higher level computer system. In case of deviations from the specified parameters the PLC provides an acoustic or visual warning.

Integrated health, work and component protection
Another significant feature of the S1 is that the inside of the cabinet and the rotary basket are lined with an antistatic polyurethane coating. The precisely defined shore hardness of the basket lining prevents any color contamination of the work pieces. The powder swirling around during the blast process is explosive. Equipment suppliers are frequently passing this potential problem on to the equipment operators by demanding that the amount of powder carried into the machine cannot exceed a certain limit. AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology has an resolved this issue by utilizing components like motors and valves that are in compliance with ATEX standards. Because of the relatively low noise emission of <=80 dB(A) -  when blasting with 3 bar - and the air-tight machine doors the S1 can be operated without safety glasses and noise protection.

Effective media classification for consistently good process results
Besides control panel, PLC, dust collector and easily exchangeable media bin the compact S1 post processing system has also an integrated media classification system. This consists of a cyclone and a screen vibrator for discharging dust and broken down media. Only a consistently high media quality ensures high quality shot blast results.

Finally, the machine is equipped with two viewing windows (for automatic and manual blasting). An “air curtain” prevents the blast media from hitting the window panes. With its well thought out technical design the new S1 meets not only the highest standards for process safety and efficiency but also for protection of the work place and the health of the employees.

Perfect polish for 3D printed removable partials and other products

By investing in the innovative dry electropolishing system DryLyte the TEAMZIEREIS milling center, specialized in dental products and job shop services, expands its service portfolio. The DLyte 10D system allows the automatic polishing of components produced with additive manufacturing and hybrid manufacturing. It places an excellent polished finish on removable partials, dental crowns and products for orthodontic treatments.  

Ralph Ziereis, General Manager of the TEAMZIEREIS GmbH milling center, explains how he found the dry electropolishing system: “A customer told us about the innovative DLyte polishing method. Subsequently we informed ourselves about this technology and its possibilities at the AM Solutions booth during the 2019 formnext show.” Mr. Ziereis founded the company, located in Engelsbrand in the Black Forest region, 20 years ago. The company’s business focus is on dental products and services that are connected with the digital work flow. For this reason, TEAMZIEREIS has comprehensive knowhow with CAD/CAM operations and pursues an integrated digital manufacturing concept.

Mechanical processing with consistent high-quality finishing results replaces costly manual polishing
Within the scope of its digital concept the company produces removable partials, dental crowns and components for orthodontic treatments, for example, filigreed wires, from cobalt chrome alloys with a powder based selective laser melting 3D printing system.  After they were printed these components had to be manually polished. This costly operation usually took place in dental labs. Ralph Ziereis comments: „To relieve our customers from this time consuming and expensive operation and to be able to offer another service, we had been looking for a suitable mechanical polishing method and with the DryLyte technology we finally found it. This system saves our customers not only a lot of money and time, but it also produces absolutely repeatable, high-quality polishing results.” By using the DLyte 10D, processing time can be reduced by up to 80% compared to manual work, depending on the application. Furthermore, several parts can be processed simultaneously.      

Dry, non-abrasive electropolishing
This high performance electropolishing system, developed by the Spanish company GPAINNOVA, utilizes dry electrolyte granules instead of a liquid. During the polishing operation the work pieces, mounted to special fixtures, are passing through the electrolyte with a rotary movement. This causes an ion exchange between work piece and electrolyte with the result that the roughness peaks on the entire surface, including internal passages, are eliminated. Compared to the conventional electropolishing method the use of non-abrasive electrolyte granules maintains the original geometry, dimensions, edges and angles of the work pieces. This guarantees a perfect fit.

Test trials ensure optimal finishing processes
A defined gloss, no change of the work piece geometry, dimensions and edges and, above all, a flawless surface finish, these were the results Ralph Ziereis demanded. AM Solutions – 3D printing technology, a Rösler division specialized in post processing of 3D printed components and sales partner of GPAINNOVA, conducted initial test trials in its technology center. These trials quickly demonstrated that the DryLyte system is absolutely suitable for the finishing tasks defined by TEAMZIEREIS. Ralph Ziereis continues: „Once we saw, how easy it was to produce the desired surface finish, we decided to purchase the compact and flexible system DLyte 10D”. The definition of the processing parameters for the different work pieces was determined by the composition and size of the electrolyte granules and the processing time. Ralph Ziereis adds: „The experts of AM Solutions helped us a lot in working out the details of the work piece specific processing programs.” All programs can be stored in the equipment controls and called up by simply pushing a button.
Ralph Ziereis concludes: „The automatic polishing is an ideal addition to our service package and makes our manufactured components a lot more attractive for our customers.”

New technology and test center for Rösler brand AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology

Additive manufacturing allows the quick and flexible production of metallic or plastic components with precisely defined material characteristics. All these components have one thing in common: Their surface requires different kinds of finishes, which must comply with the most stringent finishing specifications. These requirements pose a special challenge for the post processing of 3D printed components. AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology is meeting this challenge head-on with its new, generously equipped technology and test center at the company’s location in Untermerzbach.

State-of-the-art technologies along the complete AM process chain under one roof
In its new test center with a total area of 400 square meters, the Rösler division specializing in 3D post processing solutions, can demonstrate the complete process chain of additive manufacturing. Manuel Laux, Head of AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology, explains: “It is our declared goal to develop the best possible process solutions for our customers. To do this we must be able to fully understand every detail of the additive manufacturing process and must actually be in a position to demonstrate the various manufacturing stages. Only with such a hands-on approach will we be able take into account all the facets of additive manufacturing.” The new test center is not only equipped with the latest engineering, printing and post processing hard- and software, but the actual building was also carefully prepared, For example, suitable air intake and venting systems were installed to maintain exact temperature and humidity levels in the pressure area.

For engineering and topology optimization the center is utilizing NX CAD software from Siemens. The 3D scanner Atos from GOM allows quick and precise optimization of engineering operations. In addition, it is also utilized for quality control. The printing sections are strictly separated by material categories, and the actual printing equipment is placed in vibration absorbing areas. Metallic materials are printed with an EOS M 290 system, whereas for the creation of plastic components a Polyjet printer Objet 260 Connex 3 from Stratasys, a Multi Jet Fusion printer HP Jet Fusion 3D 5200 and a FDM printer are available.

To allow test trials for the development of optimum, automated post processing solutions and to select the most suitable equipment, AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology installed its own post processing equipment line in the form of the models S1, S2 and S3 as well as M1, M2 and M3. Moreover, the test center is equipped with various post processing systems from the AM Solutions partners GPAINNOVA and PostProcess Technologies. These include a GPAINNOVA DLyte 100 and the first installation in the world of a DLyte 10.000. In addition, the DEMI, DECI, DECI Duo and Rador from PostProcess Technologies are available for test trials.

With such a comprehensive equipment portfolio the new technology center is an ideal partner for the efficient specification and development as well as optimization of customer specific processes and products for post processing of 3D printed components. This includes unpacking, removal of support structures, stripping of loose as well as sintered-on powder from the work pieces, but also general cleaning, surface smoothing, edge radiusing and, even polishing.

The fact that many customer enquiries were received and numerous test trials were already conducted, proves that with its new technology and test center AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology is fulfilling an urgent market requirement. To ensure that visitors and employees are suitably protected during this Corona pandemic, all test trials and visits take place under strict compliance with all hygienic and safety regulations.

AM Solutions – Manufacturing service partner supports Linari nanotech on new technology development

Linari nanotech is a well known manufacturer of nanometric electrospinning machines. The company has projected and developed the most advanced electrospinning equipment on the market. Their work provides the key state of the art machines used all over the world by researcher to develop new materials. Results for Linari nanotech are so interesting that their technology is ready to jump to the production scale.

While Linari’s engineers were working on the calculation of new, more performing, electrospinning machines, they realized that production technologies used for the experimental machines could not keep up with the innovation they are introducing on the market. New specific parts with very thin and precise dimension were needed for such applications. For these reasons AM Solutions – Manufacturing service partner has been asked to work side by side with their engineers and help achieving the best solution with our knowledge in additive manufacturing field.

Our help provides them not only a reliable source of knowledge but also a partner able to daily produce prototypes of the tested component. This working method for sure will help Linari nanotech to achieve huge savings in design time and costs.

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 TitlePost Processing of additive manufactured components – from support removal to surface finish
 DateDecember 02 – 03 , 2020
 Time8 AM (CET)