There have been many exciting developments for Velo3D this year. One recent development that we’re particularly thrilled about is the announcement of depowdering expert Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH as our trusted partner for automated powder removal.
Based in Augsburg, Germany—home of Velo3D’s European Technology Center—Solukon is a well-known pioneer and market leader in industrial depowdering solutions for additive manufacturing (3D printing) and is the first company to invent and establish an automated process for powder removal via its Smart Powder Recuperation SPR® technology.
Why is automated depowdering important to metal additive manufacturing (AM)?
Depowdering is important to metal AM because it ensures that parts produced are free of residual powder. Powder residues can lead to issues in subsequent process steps (like heat treatment) and can have negative impact on the performance of the printed part (part failure).
Any remaining powder left in a part could clog or make it impossible to use, wasting both time and resources. This is crucial especially for industries like space that have particularly large, challenging parts with complex internal geometries and high-quality requirements.
The unique Solukon SPR® technology removes powder from complex inner structures of the part.
Depowdering also helps to reduce the amount of powder waste produced, which can be expensive and time consuming to dispose of. Additionally, depowdering helps prevent safety hazards such as dust explosions and inhalation of hazardous particulate matter.
Through automated two-axis rotation and targeted vibration, Solukon systems remove excess powder from laser-melted metal parts in a protected atmosphere. Additionally, Solukon provides a wide range of unique digital solutions for quality assurance and automation integration.
The Solukon metal depowdering systems. Each of them is optimized for different part dimensions and applications.
Solukon’s SPR® process ensures thorough cleaning results regardless of the part complexity. Thus, Solukon paves the way towards a true serial cleaning and therefore scalable postprocessing meeting the highest requirements in efficiency and EH&S.
What makes Solukon solutions unique?
Solukon has extensive experience in the development of AM systems, related peripheral equipment, and offers a full range of industrial powder processing systems. The company has installed over 200 metal powder removal systems in 26 countries of the world.
Solukon depowdering systems are regarded as best-in-class solutions for digital depowdering to ensure true automation and digital integration according to industry 4.0 requirements:
- The SPR-Pathfinder® software analyzes the build job’s CAD file to calculate the ideal motion sequence in the Solukon system. The calculations are based on a flow simulation that analyzes the part’s digital twin.
- The Digital-Factory-Tool, a sensor and interface kit for quality assurance and automation integration, that tracks all depowdering data in a protocol.
The SPR-Pathfinder® software calculates the ideal motion sequence through a flow simulation.
All Solukon systems are 100% engineered and made in Germany. The machines are robustly designed and suitable for heavy industrial use. In addition to high quality standards, Solukon also focuses on minimal maintenance requirements.
Partners in excellence and innovation
Velo3D is excited to partner with Solukon, an organization equally committed to driving the capabilities of AM production further.
Members of Velo3D and Solukon at Formnext 2022! From left to right: Michael Harsch, Technical Sales Engineer, Velo3D; Andreas Hartmann, CEO/CTO, Solukon; Dr. Zach Murphree, VP Global Sales & Business Development, Velo3D; Michael Sattler, Global Sales Director, Solukon
According to Solukon, one of the drivers behind this partnership was Velo3D’s deep roots and leadership position as a critical technology provider to the space industry, which is the industry with the most Solukon systems in the field.
Together we look forward to revolutionizing manufacturing capabilities and scaling up the post-processing efficiency of our customers!
Want to learn more? Speak to an expert and explore all the benefits of the Velo3D fully integrated metal additive manufacturing solution.