Additive manufacturing

Intuitive Post Processing Preserves Intricate 3D-Printed Details

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AM Solutions, a brand of The Rosler Group, provides post-processing solutions for a number of customers worldwide.

For leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and high-precision cutting plotters, Mimaki, Rosler and AM Solutions collaborated with the Japanese printer manufacturer to develop a fully automated surface finishing system for a Full-Color Inkjet 3D Printer.

Through collaboration, a fully automatic machine capable of safely removing support structures for work pieces with the finest detail was developed.

The Situation

With the 3DUJ-2207, Mimaki combines impressive color diversity with an imposing level of detail. The compact and affordable 3D printer with a build size of 8 x 8 x 0.4 in (203 x 203 x 76 mm) offers more than 10 million colors, high resolution, and, therefore, new application options in the field of professional additive manufacturing.

Innovative uses of the printer include manufacturing prototypes, industrial design objects, and collectible figures as well as medical and architecture models.

Usually, solutions for the removal of support structures are treating the work piece with wet blasting or a water bath. A safer, easier, and more efficient approach was required, since each of these processes involves the risk of damaging the often filigree 3D parts.

Mimaki turned to AM Solutions for an automatized and production-ready solution.

The Solution

“With AM Solutions and Rosler, we have a partner with extensive know-how and experience in the fields of mechanical engineering, industrial surface finishing, and the development and production of consumables," said Arjen Evertse, Mimaki General Manager of Sales.

“At the same time, AM Solutions is among the leading suppliers of automatized post-processing equipment in the AM sector, where it pursues constant development.”

The resulting post-processing solution consists of an Industry 4.0-ready plug-and-play system. Its matching compound is classified as non-hazardous and with a high flash point. The completely closed variant of the system already contains all the necessary safety features, making a regular 230 V electricity supply the only requirement for operation.

Special casters make the repositioning of the machine easy. Furthermore, the system is equipped with a web interface enabling operation and monitoring via smartphone.

Together, Mimaki and AM Solutions provide innovative printing technology and a well-matched assortment of post-processing equipment at an attractive price from a single source.

At the same time, post processing can be up to three times faster than with equipment previously available on the market.

The Process

While the need for aggressive wet blasting has been eliminated, the solution includes accommodations to make the immersion bath less damaging to intricate filigree features on the work pieces.

The fully automatic removal of the support structures is achieved by placing the 3D parts in an immersion bath via a basket and selecting the most fitting processing parameters. For this purpose, various programs are available in the equipment controls by default.

Pre-saved programs cover a range from bigger parts with many support structures to very delicate printing objects. In addition, users can configure programs for their 3D parts themselves and save specific settings within the equipment controls.

Once selected, the specific chemical, mechanical, and thermal effects interact according to the program’s specific parameters, and the prescribed interaction ensures that the support material is completely removed in a way that is gentle on the component and, at the same time, effective and fast.

After a defined processing time, the basket is removed from the immersion bath. Dripping compound is collected and returned to the dip tank.

Due to the classification as non-water hazardous, the parts can simply be rinsed under running water before subsequent processing and handling.

Process Advantages

Initial tests have shown that this specific support removal is up to three times faster than other systems on the market.

One crucial advantage of the significantly shorter processing time is that it prevents the work pieces from swelling in the bath. At the same time, the relatively low bath temperature prevents damage. An integrated monitoring system ensures that the system automatically shuts down if the temperature is too high.

“With this innovative post-processing solution, we can offer future-oriented printing technology including safe and simple post processing at an attractive price-performance ratio and from a single source. We are confident that this allows us to contribute to establishing 3D printing in new application areas,” Evertse said.

David Soldan, Head of AM Solutions – 3D post-processing technology, agreed.

“The collaboration with Mimaki gives us the opportunity to further deepen our expertise and to perfectly adapt our product development to the requirements of every user,” he said.

The Rosler Way

Decades of experience and the ability to design, service, and maintain machines as well as provide the consumables and accessories required to get the finish you require make Rosler a well-rounded, single source for surface finishing expertise. For additively manufactured components, AM Solutions builds upon Rosler’s expertise with innovative post-processing solutions. Contact us to discuss your surface finishing needs.

#3D Printing #Additive Manufacturing #Consumables #Wet Blasting #Compounds #Automation