Solukon, the AM post-processing company, has delivered its SFP770 combined unpacking and cleaning station for plastic parts to the German automotive manufacturer, the BMW Group. The Group has integrated the post-processing system – to aid in the unpacking and cleaning of prototype parts made of polyamide – as part of the expansion of the industrial system park on its Additive Manufacturing Campus, in Oberschleissheim, Germany.
The SFP770 consists of a combined automated unpacking and blasting unit for surface cleaning and finishing with ionized compressed air for SLS parts. The station is compatible with the EOS P 770, FORMIGA P 110, and EOS P 500 (with adapters for the latter two) systems and encompasses the 3D printer’s entire build box.
The SFP770 process
1. Loading – The build box of the EOS P 770 is placed in the system by a lift truck.
2. Unpacking – A vibrating sieve cover is placed over the inserted build box, which then rotates gently overhead following an optional programmable process, gradually unpacking the components. The loose powder is extracted from the sieve cover directly, and without contamination, and then conveyed to a recycling unit.
3. Transferring – Once the unpacking process is complete, the build box rotates towards the basket and opens the sieve cover. The sieve cover now functions as a slide and the parts are slipped carefully into the basket. If necessary, the automatic transfer process can be paused to manually remove certain components that should not be cleaned automatically.
4. Cleaning – The basket rotates in the direction of the blasting unit and begins turning. The cleaning process with glass bead blasts and ionized air is fully automated and removes residual powder. Users can easily program online process parameters such as rotation angle, blast intensity, distance, and basket rotation.
“Because so many process parameters can be programmed, the SFP770 achieves the best cleaning results, regardless of the part material and without any manual intermediate steps. Our system offers another advantage: parts of different shapes and sizes can be cleaned at the same time,” said Andreas Hartmann, CEO and CTO of Solukon, summarizing the main advantages of the post-processing system for plastic parts. “Especially for companies with a very high part output, the SFP770 is the perfect cleaning and unpacking station. It can completely unpack and clean a fully loaded build box with an assembly space of 150 liters in only 30 minutes, which is why it can handle several jobs per day.”
First presented at Formnext Connect in 2020, Solukon’s SFP770 post-processing system continues to establish itself on the market. In addition to the BMW Group’s acquisition, the pilot customer, who received the first SFP770 three years ago, has now successfully put its second system into operation.