At this year’s Rapid + TCT event, in Chicago, AM Solutions will be showcasing its M1 Basic and C1 machines, as well as providing information about the company‘s recent nomination for an award for its ground-breaking S2 technology, which promotes unique parts handling and fully automated post-processing for plastic components made on the full range of polymer powder bed AM systems.
“We are obviously delighted that the impressive panel of TCT Award judges has recognized the amazing effectiveness and efficiency of our S2 automated post-processing technology. In common with all our machines created for the AM sector, the S2 seeks to advance the industrial use of AM by working towards the full automation of the AM process chain. The M1 Basic and C1 machines, which visitors will see on our stand at TCT 360, also show this commitment, and the versatility of our portfolio of AM post-processing solutions which cover the full range of AM processes and materials,” said Colin Spellacy, Head of Sales at AM Solutions UK.
The M1 Basic is AM Solutions’ all-round post-processing solution for the surface smoothing and polishing of single parts and small batches, and is able to handle both plastic and metal AM parts. It is a compact machine, which means that it is easily integrated into practically any manufacturing line. Multiple parts can be simultaneously treated in separate processing chambers through the installation of divider plates. The system features – among other things – a comprehensive, easy-to-operate software package that allows the storage of post-treatment processing programs and, thus, reduces the risk of operator errors.
“The M1 Basic promotes superior surface finish of workpieces in a cost-effective and repeatable fashion, and refines parts made using the AM process, providing better-looking and better quality commercial-grade end-use products. In smoothing and polishing parts, it also enables the creation of a perfect surface for painting or dye, which is another important element of improving the aesthetics,” continued Spellacy.
AM Solutions’ C1 system is an excellent tool for the automated and cost-efficient post-processing of photopolymer components. It is equally effective on precision functional components, design objects with extremely fine structures, and complex prototypes. Photopolymer-based AM processes are typically used when a higher level of detail or especially smooth surface finish is required, for intricate parts and components.
“For SLA, for example, support structures are required to securely fix a part to the print bed and to prevent in-build warping, and these supports are usually very thin and only lightly touch the part being built. Supports can leave marks when removed, however, which means that specialist post-processing technologies are required. In the C1 system, the perfectly adapted compound and the interplay between mechanical and thermal effects results in a highly consistent, effective, and gentle removal of support structures/resin,” continued Spellacy.
The standard processing recipes, already stored in the PLC controller for the C1, can be individually modified and saved. In addition to this, the C1 machine contains various features to guarantee the optimal use of the compound and minimize operating costs. These include a fill level control system and an integrated saturation (contamination) sensor. Key process parameters such as temperature, cycle times, and the degree of contamination of the compound are continuously recorded and saved with a data logger – ensuring full compliance with industry demands regarding quality control and consistency of the processing results.