With the introduction of its fifth technology family, PostProcess Technologies has innovated the world’s first automated solution to gross depowdering (decaking) for selective laser sintering (SLS) and multi-jet fusion (MJF) 3D printed parts. Patent-pending Variable Acoustic Displacement™ (VAD) technology leverages software intelligence to optimize mechanical energy, as well as intelligent closed-loop thermal and displacement techniques for revolutionary depowdering results.
Currently, the gross depowdering process for 3D printed polymer parts is encumbered with excessive labor and part breakage. Common processing methods tend to require excessive manual labor, utilizing vacuums or blasting high-pressure air for powder removal. These approaches are not conducive to the unique and complex geometries of additive parts, and can even can expose operators to loose powder, resulting in workplace safety hazards. Furthermore, the opportunity to scale to production volume with these processes is limited, as they are unable to provide closed-loop feedback for the complete additive manufacturing workflow, or support end-to-end digitalization.
The VAD technology employs PostProcess’s proprietary AUTOMAT3D® software platform to thermodynamically control the depowdering process with both video and infrared monitoring while releasing, transferring, and recovering loose powder particles in a hands-free manner. Software-tuned frequencies identify geometries while sound (pressure) waves serve as a non-destructive mechanical energy source to de-cake powder. These functions are automatically monitored and adjusted in real-time in a closed-loop solution that repurposes powder, enabling optimal sustainability.
VAD is also enabled for production scale via integration with PostProcess’s CONNECT3D™ software. The CONNECT3D platform, currently in beta, allows users to operate and monitor their fleet of PostProcess solutions from anywhere, optimizing finishing per part design and enabling real-time planning and decision-making. VAD complements PostProcess’s existing portfolio of software-driven solutions for resin removal, support removal, and surface finishing across a range of 3D print technologies, both polymer, and metal.