Addiblast – Smart and innovative solutions to the global challenges of Additive manufacturing technologies

A unique solution that combines 3 key post-processing steps within the same product line: de-powdering, powder recovery & conditioning and surface treatment of 3D printed parts. 

 

FerroECOBlast has premiered the most advanced post-processing solutions for additive manufacturing technologies at the Formnext Connect fair last November. A user-friendly, ergonomically designed line with an aesthetic design based on the increasingly important connectivity of the systems, which users can access not only through computers but also via smartphones or tablets, creates time and material savings.

 

The extraordinary growth of the additive industry presents new guidelines and requirements in the field of surface treatment of unconventional structures and materials. The Addiblast smart solution series is the latest user-friendly line of machines from FerroECOBlast, which, with over 55 years of tradition, continuous development and excellence, is an indispensable partner in the field of surface treatment for various industries such as aerospace, medical, automotive, foundry… The new machines are specifically designed for additional processing (so-called post-processing) in the additive industry, better known as 3D printing. The family of ­­new machines follows industry 4.0 guidelines and includes state-of-the-art automated solutions of key processes for more efficient de-powdering of pieces, recycling of excess powder and surface treatment of 3D printed products, regardless of the material used. The goal is to achieve the immediate usefulness of 3D printed pieces in practice.

Additively manufactured parts require several treatments, such as de-powdering, removal of support structures, surface treatment and hardening. Addiblast solutions in this area offer the highest level of ergonomics, automation and connectivity, and on top of that are also extremely user-friendly. The extraordinary growth of the additive industry presents new guidelines and requirements in the field of surface treatment of unconventional structures and materials.

BAM - Blaster for Additive Manufacturing

BAM – Blaster for Additive Manufacturing

BAM are ergonomic and user-friendly solutions for surface treatment of 3D pieces. They are suitable for various processes such as smoothing, roughing, unifying and polishing surfaces, for removing support structures and precise removal of powder from extremely complex structures. They are made of stainless steel and are suitable for all types of shotblasting media.

 

As a world first, it features built-in automatic filling of the pressure blasting system, developed specifically for the Addiblast line by FerroECOBlast and called AddiMiniBlast. Another peculiarity of the BAM line is the choice between the injector-suction and pressure blasting systems, which allows users to adapt extremely quickly to the required processing mode.

 

The BAM working cabinet height is adjustable electronically and it ergonomically adapts to different users. It is suitable for standing or sitting operation. It is equipped with a touchscreen display where the user can set a variety of options that can be monitored and modified also via smartphone, tablet or computer. The large window and thoughtfully designed interior lighting provide optimal view and visual control of the process. It is designed for a wide range of users of additive technologies, from enthusiastic individuals, smaller laboratories, development centers, prototype centers, up to the mass-manufacturers of 3D parts.

MARS - Metal Additive Removal System

MARS – Metal Additive Removal System

The additive industry’s technology still faces the challenges of optimizing costs in the production of 3D parts compared to standard manufacturing processes. Efficient de-powdering and recycling of excess powder enables the return of unused material back to the printer, thus playing a key role in reducing costs and raising the usability of 3D printing technology.

 

MARS offers compact, user-friendly, manual and automated solutions that cover de-powdering from small yet extremely complex, unique structures up to massive 3D parts. Once connected to other compatible machines, the system allows  them to communicate and exchange data. For the safe loading of heavier pieces, the cabinets are equipped with a unique top lifting door, which allows easy and safe manipulation of prints.

 

MARS01 is designed to manually remove the powder from hard-to-access parts and support structures. The build plate with the 3D parts attached is loaded into the workspace on the hand-operated rotary table, allowing the user to remove excess powder using compressed air. The workspace is airtight and prevents any leakage of the powder. It is equipped with openings and built-in gloves, allowing the operator to clean and remove support structures in a controlled environment. Powder is collected in the bin below and can be reused in the process.

 

MARS02 is designed for bulk automatic powder removal together with surface finishing of complete printed batches. The user loads an entire batch into the rotating drum, which is located inside the workspace. Sandblasting and removing the powder is carried out by a process stored in the PLC unit. It can be used for metal or plastic pieces that come from 3D printers.

 

MARS03 is designed as a fully automated solution for removing excess powder from extremely complex metal structures. The whole system is explosion-proof and complies with the ATEX Directive, so the use of titanium and aluminium powders is not a problem, as the system can produce and maintain a controlled, inert atmosphere, keeping oxygen levels below 2 percent.

STAR - Station for Transfer and Additive Recycling

STAR – Station for Transfer and Additive Recycling series

STAR02 is designed as a centralized station that allows continuous and automatic pneumatic transfer, recycling and conditioning of powder from various sources. It can be connected directly to the 3D printer, a powder removal system (MARS03), and can also be used to purify the virgin powder before it is used in the 3D printer. Powder recovery and conditioning enables significant improvements towards serial additive manufacturing production.

 

All functions of the machine are controlled from a user-friendly PLC unit that enables the control of all parameters and visual information on the condition of the machine and the amount of powder collected with a built-in weight measurement system in each collector. The great advantage of the described system is its’ connectivity and communication with other equipment, as the STAR solution shares its working state and parameters with MARS units.

The combination of the de-powdering station MARS03 and powder recovery and conditiong unit STAR02 is a world class innovation. It enables a closed-loop inert atmosphere workflow,  maintaining oxygen level well below 2%. This feature prevents contamination and oxydation of the powder during de-powdering and conditioning and brings powder reusability to new levels. Solutions like these are helping the field of additive manufacturing move further towards mass production, while reducing cost per part, bringing great added value for the most demanding industries, such as aerospace and medicine.

More information on the complete Addiblast line of solutions can be found on www.addiblast.com

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