Welcome to part two of the four-part series highlighting each of PostProcess’ core 3D post-printing technologies. In part one, we discussed our VVD technology, ideal for automated support removal on technologies such as SLA, PolyJet, and FDM. In this post, we’ll explore the building blocks of our Thermal Atomized Fusillade (TAF) technology, utilized in our one-of-a-kind Hybrid DECI Duo. TAF technology performs surface finishing allowing for fast cycle times and consistently finished end parts. The key components to TAF are:
- Proprietary detergents
- Suspended solids
- Fusillade jets
- AUTOMAT3D® software
Let’s dive into the role each one of these elements plays in the engineering of TAF technology.
The detergent utilized in the DECI Duo is designed specifically by our chemists to optimize the mechanical and abrasive energy that is provided by the suspended solids. So another way to think of it is suspended solid optimization. The detergent helps the suspended solid circulation through the machine and enhances the solution’s capability to finish internal channels while reducing safety hazards associated with dry blast processes. We offer a primary detergent that is effective across a breadth of print technologies offering the freedom to process a variety of materials without swapping detergents. Additionally, we continuously perform research to optimize each application; our most recent findings on Inconel 718 are available in this recently released white paper.
A suspended solid is a fine particle, either metal or ceramic, that mixes with a detergent to create distinct abrading solutions to improve various surface properties. Our development engineers performed extensive testing on different materials, shapes, and sizes of suspended solids to determine the most effective combination specific to additive manufactured materials. Application dependent, our engineers will help choose the right suspended solids based on the user’s geometry and profile requirements. Together, our suspended solids and proprietary detergents provide the “Atomized” component of our TAF technology. This atomized approach offers flexible and consistent powder removal and surface finishing across a wide range of geometries.
With our TAF technology, each jet emits compressed air, detergent, and suspended solids at variable software regulated pressures. The two “Fusillade” jets fire either simultaneously or in rapid succession, depending on the Agitation Algorithm setting within the software. The wide range of pressures, typically from 20 psi to 130 psi (138kPa – 896kPa), provides the level of flexibility needed to process materials across all technologies for a variety of finishing requirements. TAF technology uniformly processes a variety of geometries by having two software-controlled jets on single axes spraying the parts fixed on a rotating turntable. One jet is on the top of the machine moving front to back and the other moves up and down. This video animation helps demonstrate the process further.
Our AUTOMAT3D software acts as the conductor of the whole process, configuring all of the energy output sources in response to sensor input data. AUTOMAT3D is integral in our TAF technology due to the intricacy of coordinating all of the numerous software-enabled energy sources. The software manages temperature, jet movement, turntable speed and direction, fluid and air pressure, all in concert with cycle time. This control over the temperature is the “Thermal” piece of TAF technology. AUTOMAT3D provides the solution with the highest degree of energy management while simultaneously simplifying machine operation. Recipe storage allows for process parameters to be saved for easy recall, requiring minimal operator time and promoting consistency with each cycle. To further minimize downtime, preventative maintenance and warnings allow users to plan ahead of time for maintenance.
Now that you have a better understanding of how our Thermal Atomized Fusillade technology works for surface finishing, find out if it is right for your application! Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and get the benchmark process started.
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