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Solukon upgrades SFM-AT350 depowdering solution for mid-sized LPBF parts

New system, available in two excitation options, can process parts weighing up to 100 kg

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Solukon, a German company specializing in depowdering systems for polymer and metal AM, has upgraded its SFM-AT350 solution to accommodate larger and heavier parts. While the previous system generation (the SFM-AT350) had been able to accommodate printed parts weighing up to 60 kg and measuring up to 350 mm on the X-axis, the SFM-AT350/-E can handle parts weighing up to 100 kg and measuring up to 400 x 400 x 400 mm or 500 x 280 x 400 mm.

Solukon upgraded SFM-AT350 The increased size capability of the upgraded depowdering system is owed to advances in the machine’s arm design. The machine’s other features, like chamber volume and gas consumption remain consistent. According to Solukon, the upgrade was driven by the growing demand for medium-sized components in the metal laser powder bed fusion market. As the company says, “the total weight of LPBF parts has increased”, a phenomenon due in part to the fact that parts coming off the print bed are attached to solid build plates and often have support structures attached to them.

By increasing the size and weight of parts that the SFM-AT350/-E can process, Solukon has also expanded what machines its post-processing solution is compatible with. Now, users can easily depowder the build plates of the EOS M 400 and Nikon SLM 500 3D printers. “Many of our current and potential customers print their medium-sized parts on an M 400 from EOS or a Nikon SLM 500,” explained Andreas Hartmann, CEO and CTO of Solukon. “The upgraded SFM-AT350 is now compatible with both of these printers and therefore covers two more key additive manufacturing systems in this size range.”

Solukon upgraded SFM-AT350

The new depowdering system features a compact footprint and is available with two excitation options: the SFM-AT350 comes equipped with pneumatic vibrations (with optional knocker), while the SFM-AT350-E leverages piezoelectric excitation, which uses self-regulating ultrasonic vibrations for more gentle depowdering. Both versions of the system are controlled by Solukon’s SPR-Pathfinder software, which automatically calculates the optimal motion sequence for depowdering based on the part’s geometry. Users can also benefit from the optional Digital-Factory-Tool (DFT), a sensor and interface kit that facilitates process monitoring and generates protocol files for greater process transparency.

Solukon upgraded SFM-AT350 “These smart features have also become a must in the medium-sized part segment since the parts and support structures are becoming more and more complex here too,” Hartmann adds. “We are pleased that we were able to launch two sophisticated digital tools on the market so early with the DFT and SPR-Pathfinder software and have once again demonstrated our innovative strength. The aim of the latest upgrade is to offer users with larger components weighing up to 100 kg a cost-optimized solution without compromising on functionality. No other system in this segment offers so many equipment options and functionality and closes an important gap in the growing price pressure in the service sector.”

Solukon will be displaying the upgraded SFM-AT350 at the upcoming Rapid + TCT in Los Angeles; it will also be showcasing its ultrasonic excitation capabilities in the U.S. for the first time. At the event, taking place from June 25-27, visitors will be able to not only see the new machine live at Solukon’s booth (2161) but also its other depowdering systems, including the SFM-AT1000-S, which has applications in the aerospace industry for industrial-scale rocket components. Watch this space for our upcoming Post-Processing eBook, which will feature an exclusive story on Solukon’s depowdering solutions.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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