Absolutely clean 3D printed components for recreational vehicles with a fully automatic operation

Absolutely clean 3D printed components for recreational vehicles with a fully automatic operation

A significant quality improvement of the de-powdering and cleaning operation for
3D printed components at lower costs and shorter cycle times! A leading
manufacturer of recreational vehicles is fulfilling this goal with the purchase of the
automated post processing system S1 from AM Solutions – 3D post processing

With their innovative designs and powerful drive systems the motor homes, caravans and
panel trucks of the Knaus Tabbert AG allow safe, comfortable and sustainable travelling.
At its German headquarters in Jandelsbrunn, Bavaria, the company is utilizing its
comprehensive experience and knowhow to continuously improve the materials and
designs of its vehicles. Naturally, this also includes the employment of new manufacturing
technologies such as additive manufacturing (AM). Mario Meszaros, development
engineer at Knaus Tabbert explains: „On the one hand we are using the 3D printing
technology for creating prototypes. On the other hand we are also utilizing additive
manufacturing for producing standard components in volume such as the bracket for an
alarm system or the hinge mechanism for the swing-out shower stall”.

A challenging post processing task
To date the de-powdering and cleaning of PA 12 components, produced by a powder-bed
printing system, was done manually in a blast cabinet. Since this post processing
operation required not only a lot of labor and time but also produced highly erratic and
inconsistent results, the company was looking for an automated alternative.
Therefore, comprehensive processing trials were run with different components in the
Customer Experience Center of AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology. This
division of the Rösler group specializes in post processing solutions for 3D printed
components. After conclusion of the highly successful processing trials the customer
chose the S1 shot blasting system.

This shot blast machine was specifically developed for the post processing of plastic
components produced with the powder bed printing method. The plug and play S1 is the
only machine on the market that allows the time-saving and cost-efficient de-powdering as
well as surface smoothing and homogenization of 3D printed components in one single
machine. All that is required, is a simple change of the blast media, for example, from
glass beads to plastic spheres.

The S1, equipped with a basket that rotates during the finishing operation and allows
easy, ergonomic loading and unloading of the work pieces, allows fully automatic batch
processing. Throughout the entire process the basket remains in the machine housing.
This, combined with a special door sealing system, prevents any powder spillage into the
immediate surroundings. The control panel allows an easy and quick switch to manual
operation without any retooling. „More and more companies from different industries are
choosing the S1 for post processing of their 3D printed components. This is a confirmation
for our product strategy. It shows that our 3D post processing products are in full
compliance with the requirements of the market”, adds Manuel Laux, Head of AM
Solutions – 3D post processing technology.

Perfect cleaning results and quick amortization
Mario Meszaros comments: „The fact that after surprisingly short cycle times the
components came out of the machine perfectly clean and without any powder residues
was very impressive”. He continues: „With the underlying operating data I prepared a ROI
calculation. The results quickly convinced our management: Even with only three print
jobs per week in the S1, we already achieve a return on investment after roughly two
years. However, it is safe to assume that the quantity of 3D printed components will
increase significantly. This will drastically reduce the amortization period.”

High process stability and operational safety
The benefits of the S1 are not only limited to the excellent processing results and the
quick amortization. In its standard version it also features a system that automatically
monitors and records all relevant process parameters. The integrated blast media
cleaning and recycling system represents another reason for the high process stability. It
ensures that irrespective of the media type the media is always available in perfect
condition. Another plus is the explosion protected design of the shot blast machine with
ATEX compliant motors and valves. Mario Meszaros concludes: „I am absolutely
convinced that the simple, effective and efficient post processing possibilities of the S1 will
further promote the use of additive manufacturing in our company”.

About Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH
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 and shot
blasting, lean management and additive manufacturing. Besides the German
manufacturing locations in Untermerzbach/Memmelsdorf and Bad Staffelstein/Hausen the
Rösler group has a global network of 15 locations and 150 sales agents.
For more information, please go to: www.rosler.com