(Sheffield, UK; 19th November 2019) Formnext 2019 opens today in Frankfurt where Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Ltd (AMT) will launch its proprietary Digital Manufacturing System (DMS). Visitors at Formnext will be the first to witness this innovative and comprehensive post processing system that completes the equation for high volume production applications of additive manufacturing (AM) through digital connectivity and full automation. AMT will be demonstrating the capabilities of its DMS on Booth E61 in Hall 12.1.
There are myriad AM platform solutions available on the market for industrial applications of AM, many of which will be on show at Formnext this week. Despite the many advantages that AM can bring to industrial applications across various sectors, including medical, aerospace and sports equipment, to name a few; the building of the parts is only one component of the equation. Post processing those parts is also a vital component of the equation, one that can account for up to 60 per cent of the cost of the parts.
The foundational remit of AMT is to develop fully automated safe and sustainable post processing solutions to enable the industrial production of additively manufactured parts at scale, which it achieved with the successful commercialization of the PostPro3D system. This industrial post processing solution goes a long way to mitigate many of the current issues with finishing AM parts to injection molding standards and improving mechanical properties of the parts by way of its unique BLAST technology.
The automation equation remains incomplete, however, with manual intervention still required between the AM system and the PostPro3D, where unpacking and de-powdering or resin removal is required, depending on the AM process/materials utilized. AMT’s Digital Manufacturing System has been developed as an automated turnkey solution that can be customized to the requirements of the application and addresses the entire manufacturing process chain from build through to final inspection.
The DMS from AMT provides a holistic and automated solution for every stage of the manufacturing workflow, including:
- Unpacking the AM machine
This technology platform incorporates a proprietary fluidized bed and and provides automated sorting capabilities to free up the bottle neck that traditionally requires extensive manual intervention at this stage of the workflow.
- De-powdering & material removal: PostPro3DDP
AMT has developed the PostPro3DDP system — a dedicated de-powdering solution for polymer powder-bed AM processes. This automated de-powdering and handling system is modular and does not involve any blasting media or material contamination. It further reduces manual intervention in the process chain, which at this stage of the workflow involves considerable safety precautions and PPE equipment due to the fine powders involved.
- Smoothing and/or coloring: PostPro3D / PostPro3DColor / PostPro3DMini
The PostPro3D, including the Mini and the Color options, are AMT’s flagship products that can standalone as an automated solution for finishing 3D printed parts. However, they leverage even greater value as part of the DMS from AMT.
The final part of the equation addressed by AMT within the DMS is a fully automated inline inspection system for quality assurance / quality control (QA/QC). The PostPro3DMet is an advanced machine learning metrology system, developed in conjunction with the University of Nottingham.
Each of these stages of the process chain are digitally connected to ensure full efficiencies are realized through integration and advanced robotic technologies to provide a complete end-to-end manufacturing solution.
The Digital Manufacturing System, incorporating the PostPro3D will be operating live on AMT’s
innovative booth on the show floor. The eye-catching, 84 m2 booth is a first for Formnext, as it is a modular, fully customizable, and reusable booth featuring more than 6000 3D printed parts that have been post-processed by AMT.
Joseph Crabtree, CEO at AMT commented, “As a company we are making a big statement at Formnext this year where we will demonstrate the innovation that sets AMT apart as a solutions provider for true industrial additive manufacturing. It is gratifying to see that post processing is being more widely acknowledged as a bottle neck in the AM process chain, with a growing number of companies focused in this area. However, AMT’s unique solutions combine market leading technology, machine learning capabilities, dedicated automation systems and superior research and production partnerships. It is this approach that means we offer more than just a process or just a machine, which is what you may find on other booths at Formnext. AMT’s Digital Manufacturing System exemplifies this perfectly, with a comprehensive solution that links all of the post processing stages together through intelligent, digital connectivity and innovative hardware to unlock the potential of AM for cost-effective, high volume applications across industry.”
“Visitors to our stand will be able to see the DMS in action for themselves, as well as gain insight into the importance of post processing in terms of our actual stand, which features more than 6000 3D printed and post processed parts. Sustainability was a key driver here — the stand is light and completely modular, meaning that it can be reused in configurations that suit any future events while being easy and carbon-efficient to transport.”