AM Solutions, a specialist in 3D post-processing technology, has announced that leading digital manufacturing and 3D printing expert Shapeways Inc. has invested in post-processing equipment from AM Solutions to further develop its service and achieve optimal results for its customers.
Shapeways continually invests in technologies that help automate the AM process chain. As part of its post-processing automation efforts, the company has invested in systems from AM Solutions that offer time savings, increased efficiency and high-quality solutions for its growing customer base.
Andy Nied, Chief Operating Officer at Shapeways says, “Our enterprise customers require consistency and high quality, and so when we were looking for a post-processing supplier, we wanted well engineered post-processing machines, supporting superior finishing processes. Equally important was after sales support. We need a true partner relationship that ensures the machine and process are precisely aligned with our applications and any teething problems can be addressed and overcome in a timely fashion.”
Jules Witte, Plant Manager at Shapeways Eindhoven-based facility says, “On a daily basis, Shapeways can process anything up to 2000 parts on an array of SLS and MJF powder-bed printers, some one-off parts, some in batches, and consisting of various geometries and perhaps requiring upwards of 20 different surface finishes. This means that an automated rather than a manual post-processing operation is vital, which is why we worked with AM Solutions to customize a machine to meet our needs.”
Shapeways invested in AM Solutions’ S1 and S2 post-processing machines. The S1 provides cleaning and surface finishing in a single process step, while the S2 is a fully automated finishing solution for plastic parts. Both machines are designed for efficient 24/7 operation.
Witte says, “The S1 is a great machine, the key being its useability. The size of the machine, and the fact that it separates the media from the powder removed from the AM parts means powder recycling is optimised. This saves cost, and it is an extremely clean machine to use. With the S2 we were part of the beta testing program, and what we found was that from a technology perspective it took a substantial step towards being a flow process which promoted automation, quality, and repeatability. This coupled with the large capacity of the machine were the key areas of interest. Through the use of the S1 and S2, average part cleaning time has reduced from 2 hours to 20-30 minutes, and we are able to reduce the number of machines we use to service our AM part production volumes from 6 to 3. This saves space, allows us to organise for more flow in the process, and saves energy (anything from 2-4 Megawatts per month).”
By using AM Solutions’ technologies, Shapeways is able to reduce the cleaning and finishing process from two steps to a single step, saving time and money and enabling an automated process flow.
Find out more about AM Solutions at solutions-for-am.com.
For more information about Shapeways, please visit shapeways.com.