AI and simulation in industrial depowdering

At acatech’s senate event at Siemens headquarters in Munich Solukon shows how intelligent depowdering based on the digital twin is driving the industrialization of 3D printing.

The National Academy of Science and Engineering, or acatech, an organization funded by the German federal and state governments, is the voice of the technological sciences at home and abroad. Its Senate, consisting of 105 well-known personalities from internationally leading German tech companies, held its annual meeting at Siemens headquarters in Munich. The event addressed important future topics of the industry such as sustainability of digital transformation processes or global supply chains. Another focus was the digital twin area. Here, in the so-called Real Life Experience, Siemens took the senators to use cases in which the digital twin is already being applied. One of these is the intelligent software in a Solukon SFM-AT800-S.

Algorithm-based industrial depowdering

Christoph Kiener, Principal Key Expert Functional Design for Manufacturing at Siemens, and Solukon CEO Andreas Hartmann showed the senators, how algorithm-based depowdering increases efficiency in postprocessing of additive manufacturing. Flow simulation is key for software-controlled depowdering. It analyses the geometry of the digital twin of the part to find the corresponding motion sequence within the Solukon system. Applying the algorithmic depowdering, you can clean even the most complex parts reliably and fast. For subsequent cleaning jobs you can use the motion sequence as a program.

The senators, including host Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens, experienced the performance and significance of algorithm-based depowdering.

Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens, is shown the intelligent depowdering process in a Solukon SFM-AT800-S.
Image: Siemens

“Solukon’s intelligent depowdering process is one of the lighthouse projects that shows how the digital twin and artificial intelligence make a difference in the industry”, says Christoph Kiener. Kiener had developed the intelligent Solukon depowdering software in 2018. In combination with the SPR® depowdering technology, this makes Solukon the market’s sole provider of intelligent powder removal, i.e. depowdering based on an algorithm.

Christoph Kiener and Andreas Hartmann present the depowdering software to Ulrich Eichhorn (VW), Roland Busch (Siemens) and Sabine Klauke (Airbus) (from left to right). Image: Siemens

Long-standing partnership between Solukon und Siemens

Solukon has a long-standing partnership with Siemens. “Solukon is not only a customer and licensee of Siemens, but also a supplier and partner”, says Kiener. The Solukon managers were all the more pleased to be able to present Solukon technology at this high-class event. “It was an honor for Solukon to show the depowdering software as a co-innovation of Siemens and Solukon at the acatech senate event”, summarizes Solukon CEO Andreas Hartmann.

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