Metal 3D printing generally requires a lot of work, even after the part has been printed. To address these issues, German company Solukon Maschienbau GmbH has developed a series of machines that remove powder from finished 3D printed metal parts automatically. The machines rotate and vibrate the 3D printed parts, shaking loose any excess powder. For such a busy organization, efficiency is key, so CERN has now deployed Solukon’s automated depowdering units to clean laser melted metal parts made from reactive titanium alloys. “Powder removal is a critical phase of Additive Manufacturing for application Ultra-High-Vacuum,” said Romain Gérard, Additive Manufacturing Engineer at CERN. “We observed that powder residues, that are subsequently sintered during heat treatment, act like sponges by trapping gases and releasing them at a very low rate. The SFM-AT300 automated depowdering unit from Solukon ensures a high depowdering quality with a safe environment for titanium and niobium powder.” “The high requirements for safety and cleaning results make CERN an exemplary customer for Solukon. The combination of the reactivity of the used titanium powder and the complex internal structures of the parts make it perfectly suitable for our systems,” said Andreas Hartmann, CEO and Technical Director at Solukon. With the depowdering systems installed, CERN can more safely and efficiently 3D print parts for its particle accelerators, simplifying the manufacture of these parts and saving money over traditional methods of manufacturing.

Read the full article at 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing