In machine tool manufacturing, 3D Printing is an innovative process that is revolutionizing the prototyping and mass production businesses. This technology enables to create a finished piece, starting with a digital model and aggregating raw materials, including polymers and metals, mainly through selective laser sintering and selective laser melting technologies. These innovations meet current market needs in terms of high efficiency, precision and time and resource savings. However, they also bring with them new challenges and risks for safety, cleaning, and maintenance in this business sector.
3D PRINTING PROCESS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF POWDER-FREE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
In the various stages of the 3D printer process, residual dust, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are generated and released into the working environment with consequences for employees’ health, safety workplace, and production efficiency. Capturing 3D printer dust becomes an essential part of the production process.
Once the product has been synthesized, it is subjected to the post-production phase to remove excess dust and smooth the newly printed component. In these phases, residual dust and chemical components are deposited in the 3D printer machine, building chamber, and all surrounding work areas. Continuous deposit and exposure to these materials can lead to multiple risks in terms of safety and efficiency; inhalation of toxic substances, explosion, cross-contamination, and machine down-time are just some of them.
To protect the employees’ health in additive manufacturing and at the same time ensure the production process efficiency, it is essential to use vacuums with dedicated collection units for different types of powder. This will guarantee the achievement of high standards of cleaning, maintenance, and finished product quality.
DELFIN SOLUTIONS FOR CLEAN AIR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
Regardless of the kind of powders handled (hazardous and highly explosive metal dust, polymer plastic dust or inert dust), Delfin has designed a dedicated range of vacuum systems for 3D printer dust collection.
In the case of non-reactive and non-combustible dust, it is possible to extract the residues through highly powerful industrial vacuums, even directly fixed to the 3D additive machines. Their antistatic, class M filter, together with the optional HEPA filter, ensures total filtration and quality air in the workplace. Moreover, their brushless motors which are long-lasting, with 15,000 hours of life expectancy, and maintenance-free, make them suitable for continuous applications.
For explosive powders such as titanium, aluminum or carbon, Delfin industrial vacuum cleaners are equipped with a stainless-steel collection system, predisposed for the pouring of an inert liquid that traps the vacuumed material making it harmless. In this way, Inert Ex technology eliminates the risk of explosion inside the vacuum cleaner.
Moreover, the PPL filter holds the vacuumed dust in the inert liquid while three other fiber filters protect the motor from the mist generated inside the vacuum cleaners during the suctioning. Thanks to this high level of filtration, Delfin machines allow to totally protect workers from VOC exposure in additive manufacturing by cleaning the air from these and other ultrafine particles released especially during thermal processes.
In addition, to avoid direct contact with dust during material loading and unloading, Delfin offers its own pneumatic conveyors. It’s the perfect solution to create an integrated system together with 3D printing machines. Pneumatic conveyors allow the direct transfer and the automatic recovery of dust. These systems preserve the integrity of the raw materials, their separation and their reclaiming into the production line. As a result, they bring great benefits in terms of increased health protection, reduced waste of resources, and increased efficiency of the entire production system.
An added value of all Delfin solutions is that they are highly customizable thanks to the wide range of accessories and separators. These modular solutions can be adaptable to the specific features of the single 3D printing process, depending on the dust and the technical process used.
Contact us to know more about our solutions for 3D additive manufacturing and increase your standards of safety and efficiency with Delfin.