Nanoparticle jetting 3D printer OEM XJet is introducing the SMART station, a new system to automate the post-processing of XJet ceramic AM parts. The equipment provides the last link in the chain for automated end-to-end additive manufacturing using XJet’s technology.
SMART, or ‘Support Material Automatic Removal Technology’, works seamlessly with all XJet Carmel AM systems, automating the removal of the award-winning soluble support material and eliminating dependency on operator expertise. The easy-to-use water-based system has a selection of programs – differing by water level, flow rate and other parameters – to suit any given tray of parts. Using intelligent algorithms, the SMART system suggests the appropriate program.
“The SMART station delivers the final missing link in AM,” asserted Dror Danai, XJet CBO. “Now XJet’s award-winning soluble support material becomes even easier to remove, making part production really easy and allowing virtually any geometry as water can access even the smallest channels that XJet ultra-high-quality printing enables.
“This is all part of XJet’s drive to support manufacturers in a true production environment. XJet technology is designed for manufacturers who want to build better parts for real-world applications. We examine the whole workflow to see what can be done to reduce production time, minimize operational costs, and ensure the premium quality of parts is repeatable.”
XJet’s soluble support material works with all its ceramic and metal build materials. The ability to gently melt away the support ensures any ultra-fine details and complex geometries of parts are preserved throughout the post-processing process. The introduction of end-to-end automation – from support generation to support removal – allows manufacturers to produce premium quality parts, with all the benefits of additive manufacturing.
“One of our beta customers has reported a 90 percent reduction in cleaning time and hassle using the XJet SMART station, so we’re delighted with the results!” said Danai. “Additive manufacturing is supposed to offer true design freedom and complex geometries with zero additional cost. Our soluble support material delivers those capabilities – even for tiny cavities. Now with the SMART station, our customers can benefit from simple, predictable, low-cost operation.”