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PostProcess and Fraunhofer IAPT partner to advance automation in AM

The German institute acquire a PostProcess DECI support removal system

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PostProcess Technologies, a provider of automated and intelligent post-printing solutions for industrial 3D printing, and the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Manufacturing Technologies IAPT, part of the world’s applied research organization Fraunhofer, have sparked a collaboration to further drive additive manufacturing to production scalability. Therefore, to promote the end-to-end systemized digitization of their fused deposition modeling (FDM) processes, Fraunhofer IAPT has recently installed a PostProcess DECI support removal solution.

The use of soluble support structures is necessary for a majority of FDM parts, which must be removed in a subsequent process step. This comes with significant disadvantages such as unpredictable processing times, extended dry times, and inconsistent results. To address these drawbacks, PostProcess Technologies developed the Volumetric Velocity Dispersion (VVD) technology and demonstrated a significant reduction of the FDM workflow with soluble supports. The ultimate goal of the new collaboration is to design a fully integrated and automated production line to produce FDM parts with a seamless support removal process.

Speaking to the new partnership, Dr. Philipp Imgrund at Fraunhofer IAPT, said, “Based on our converging views regarding the industrialization of additive manufacturing, for which post-processing is a crucial element, we are certain that the digitization of the FDM process chain is a decisive step.” Fraunhofer IAPT is additionally collaborating with PostProcess Technologies on surface finishing technology for metal parts in the PostProcess DECI Duo by printing high precision test specimens in a multitude of materials and providing highly accurate measurements and analysis of the finished parts. This is just the beginning of what will be an ongoing partnership, dedicated to advancing additive as a full-fledged Industry 4.0 solution. “We are proud to be collaborating with such a well-respected pioneer in additive manufacturing research and look forward to continually develop new data-driven innovations for additive with the help of this new partnership,” said Florian J. Künne, General Manager for DACH & APAC, PostProcess Technologies.

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