If you were to ask AM experts which application has inspired the community the most in recent weeks, the answer is likely to be: the Aerospike part. This is a rocket engine designed by Hyperganic and manufactured by EOS and AMCM. Unlike conventional bell-shaped nozzles, an aerospike engine maintains its aerodynamic efficiency across a wide range of altitudes. But the geometry is a tremendous engineering and manufacturing challenge. Hyperganic’s algorithm-based design made it possible to print this component on an EOS system (material: Inconel 718) or, in a larger version made of copper, on an M 4K system from AMCM. Afterwards, the part was depowdered in a Solukon powder removal system (SFM-AT1000-S). But why is depowdering more than just the next logical step right after printing?
Why the SPR® depowdering technology is key
Compared to manual depowdering automated depowdering offers many advantages: increased health and occupational safety, time savings up to 90% and contamination-free powder recovery. With regard to the aerospike part one thing is particularly obvious: Automated depowdering is reliable and repeatable. This means that you get the powder out of even the most complicated channels. Part designers therefore can freely design without any restrictions since the Solukon gets every geometry powder-free. Real freedom of motion makes this possible, enabled by endless two-axis rotation within the Solukon systems SFM-AT800-S and SFM-AT1000-S. This means that AM users no longer have to worry if internal cavities have been created too small and whether stuck powder is causing problems in downstream processes. They can create channels in the way that makes the most sense in terms of thermal conductivity and performance.
Serial cleaning and comprehensive monitoring
Depowdering complex parts like the aerospike is no one-off task since more and more complex applications are going into series. What is printed in series needs to be depowdered in series, too. Solukon systems provide the perfect conditions for this. You can save motion sequences as a profile and run it repeatedly for the same batch. For particularly challenging geometries, a software calculates the ideal motion sequence, which is then available as a program. Thus, you always get the same, reliable cleaning result for each component. In addition, Solukon offers full process transparency: With the Digital Factory Tool, a comprehensive quality report on the depowdering process is available at the end.
Automated depowdering with Solukon’s SPR® technology is a game-changer towards a real freedom in part design and stands for reliable cleaning results and overall process transparency. That is why leading OEMs, such as EOS and AMCM, rely on Solukon as their partner for industrial depowdering.