FKM Additive Manufacturing and AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology are now working together to optimize the SLS printing process. Particularly with regard to series production, the goal is to solve the conflict between high quality and cost-effectiveness with various intelligent post-processing solutions, both now and in the future.
FKM Additive Manufacturing, headquartered in Biedenkopf, Germany, provides high-quality 3D printed products on an industrial scale to customers around the world and is a technology leader in industrial powder bed laser melting. Recently, FKM became one of the first German additive manufacturing companies to meet the stringent requirements of IATF 16949, qualifying it as a supplier of production parts to the international automotive industry.
Automation and streamlining of the process chain
With demand for optimized quality and high output, it is important for the company to continually optimize its own processes and be well equipped for the future. “When it comes to series production, two factors play a decisive role for us: quality and cost-effectiveness. We have identified post-processing as a very important lever”, explains Matthias Henkel, Managing Director of FKM. “At the last Formnext, we began discussions with AM Solutions, explored joint possibilities and finally came to the conclusion that AM Solutions, with all its experience and expertise, is the right partner for us to achieve these goals and further expand our leading market position”. “As part of the Rösler Group, we have decades of mechanical engineering know-how and experience. This enables us to deliver equipment that solves real problems – from industry for industry”, says Tobias Schamberger, Head of Sales AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology. “For FKM, we are taking a close look at the various challenges and working together to develop solutions based on systems from our broad portfolio. At the same time, we have the perfect sparring partner to test and validate our developments”.
Purchase of an S2 as starting point
FKM’s purchase of an S2 system from AM Solutions marks the beginning of the partnership. It will be used to fully automate the post-processing of powder-bed plastic parts in a continuous process with reproducible results at the highest quality level. “By investing in an S2, and the resulting further automation of our processes, we will be able to guarantee our customers the best quality in the future. It also helps us to prepare the company for expected external factors, such as the looming shortage of skilled workers, and to streamline process chains”, says Matthias Henkel.
Thanks to the S2’s unique machine concept, which enables high part throughput, the post-processing of several printers can be centralized. A special loop belt ensures gentle transport of the parts through the machine, resulting in the best cleaning results with homogeneous surfaces. The integrated blast media preparation system ensures consistent blast media quality for absolutely reproducible processing results.
Beta partnership for C2 and other projects in the pipeline
In addition to investing in an S2, in 2024, FKM will also become a beta partner for the new C2 system. The C2, which AM Solutions will showcase at this year’s Formnext, combines chemical smoothing and coloring of polymers in a single operation and is more environmentally friendly than comparable systems thanks to newly developed process media. It is based on the unique 2-in-1 principle from AM Solutions and reproduces two process steps in just one system. “At FKM, we are always striving to open up new possibilities for our customers’ components. AM Solutions’ unique approach convinced us to participate in the C2 beta program and thus further expand our partnership”, explains Matthias Henkel. In addition, both companies are in close contact to address the topic of automated depowdering in the SLS area in the future.
Both companies at Formnext
At Formnext 2023, the circle between the initial contact and the announcement of the joint cooperation will now be closed. With their own booths, both FKM (Hall 12.1, Booth E99) and AM Solutions (Hall 12.0, Booth D59) will invite interested trade visitors to talk to their respective experts.
FKM Sintertechnik GmbH
FKM is a pioneer and innovation driver for powder bed laser melting in Germany and Europe. With the revolutionary possibilities of additive manufacturing, FKM has been changing products, processes, companies and entire industries since 1994. FKM supplies ready-to-use components that are precisely tailored to their tasks. FKM offers a wide range of high-quality plastic and metal materials for the SLS and SLM powder bed processes. FKM’s 3D printing services also include advice on optimizing components for 3D printing and a wide range of surface finishes. Thanks to a leading machine park in Germany and Europe with high-capacity industrial powder bed systems, both large components and large quantities can be delivered in the shortest possible time. Quality assurance, including an in-house test laboratory, is also part of the company’s expertise, which, in conjunction with an ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 certified quality management system, ensures the pursuit of the highest and most reproducible quality.
For more information, please visit: www.fkm.net
Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH / AM Solutions
For over 80 years, the privately owned Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH has been actively engaged in the field of surface preparation and surface finishing. As global market leader, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of equipment, consumables and services around the mass finishing and shot blasting technologies for a wide spectrum of different industries. Our range of about 15,000 consumables, developed in our Customer Experience Centers and laboratories located all over the world, specifically serves our customers for resolving their individual finishing needs. Under the brand name AM Solutions, we offer numerous equipment solutions and services in the area of additive manufacturing/3D printing. Last-but-not-least, as our central training center the Rösler Academy offers practical, hands-on seminars to the subjects mass finishing, shot blasting and lean management. The Rösler group has a global network of 15 locations and approx. 150 sales agents.