A trend in additive manufacturing systems is the development of peripheral equipment that makes the management of metal powder much easier and safer. EOS, a leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, is an example. The company recently introduced the IPCM M pro material handling solution.
The IPCM M pro is specifically for the EOS M 290 metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) system. The additive machine has a special process chamber door with coupling points to connect with the IPCM M pro and material containers. The combination of system and periphery enables users to convey material quickly and safely out of the system before sieving and refilling it back into the system –simplifying the industrial 3D printing process with its machines and processes.
Closed process chain for efficient material handling
In Additive Manufacturing, a laser beam fuses powdered material at points defined by computer-generated component design data. With the IPCM M pro, material not fused during the build process can be directly conveyed out of the AM system without opening the process chamber door and therefore without the operator coming into direct contact with the material. A vacuum pump removes the powder from the system and into the IPCM M pro, where it is sieved under inert gas within the module at a throughput of 120 kilograms of material in 30 minutes – 50% faster than previous solutions. Powder treated in this way can be reused for future builds.
For the user, this semi-automated, dust-free material handling within the process chamber of the AM system has clear advantages in terms of health and safety because it reduces the risk of contact with the metal powders. This enables the user to wear more comfortable protective equipment without compromising safety in any way. At the same time, even large volumes of material can be sieved and conveyed more quickly while reducing manual tasks. Moreover, the IPCM M pro module is mobile, which means it can be efficiently used for several systems.
The EOS M 290 system and the IPCM M pro module can help users enter the industrial additive manufacturing world easily.
The EOS M 290 system delivers high part quality consistently and reproducibly, works with a range of validated materials, and includes software for data preparation and quality management.
EOS is presenting its EOS M 290 and IPCM M pro at the EMO Hannover 2017.