With the HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D Automatic Unpacking Station, HP and the Rösler brand AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology, present their first product that was jointly developed on the basis of their cooperation agreement announced last year. This scalable, industrial post processing solution allows the fully automatic and consistent unpacking of AM parts made on the HP Jet Fusion 5200 3D Printing System in a continuous workflow. Compared to manual unpacking operations, the new solution offers not only a significant productivity increase and a greatly improved cost efficiency, but also a considerably higher powder reclaim rate for certain geometries. The Automatic Unpacking Station will be manufactured at the German location of the Rösler brand AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology.
As a global leader in the field of industrial 3D printing solutions and digital manufacturing, HP recognized early on that the use of 3D printing on an industrial scale is only possible, if the printing and post processing operations can be combined into one automated, scalable process. About one year ago HP and AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology, a division of Rösler that specializes in post processing solutions for 3D printed parts, announced a cooperation agreement. This created the ideal foundation for developing such an integrated, industrial solution. The HP Multi Jet Fusion technology offers the possibility for volume production on an industrial scale. On the other hand, post processing still requires a great deal of manual operations. This is now changing with the innovative Automatic Unpacking Station for the HP Jet Fusion 5200 series. This unpacking station, the first result of the cooperation between HP and AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology, combines the full range of print, software and material knowhow at HP with more than 80 years of experience in the fields of surface treatment and equipment manufacturing for industrial applications at Rösler.
Consistent, repeatable unpacking and a high powder reclaim rate
The automatic unpacking process takes place immediately after the cooling of the build job in the HP Natural Cooling Unit. A lifting device is used to transfer the cooling unit to the Automatic Unpacking Station. There it is positioned, unlocked, and the entire build job is placed in the station. All relevant printing job data are transmitted to the unpacking station by means of its RFID reader. This ensures that the job- and process-related data can be tracked and the process monitored remotely by means of HP’s 3D Center software. Furthermore, the automated unpacking process, adapted to the individual work pieces, allows a considerably higher powder reclaim rate for certain geometries. An air suction system transfers the powder collected in the station continuously to a dedicated external tank. The printed parts are discharged into an unloading box. Once the external tank is full, it is replaced with an empty one, and the retrieved powder can be loaded back into an HP Build Unit after connecting the full tank to the Processing Station.
The new Automatic Unpacking Station minimizes not only manual operations but also reduces the overall cycle time for certain applications, as the unpacking operation can start right after the recommended minimum cooling time is completed.
Ramon Pastor, GM and Global Head of HP 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing explains: “New solutions for the scalable, efficient post processing and automation of the entire workflow are the precondition for fully exploiting the advantages of Additive Manufacturing and making it suitable for industrial volume production.” Pastor continues: “With Rösler/AM Solutions we have found a partner who is intimately familiar with the standards of a broad range of industries and possesses the required knowhow in the field of surface treatment and equipment manufacturing.”
Stephan Rösler, President & CEO of Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH, adds: “The comprehensive knowledge of HP in the areas 3D printing, software and digitized manufacturing allows us to quickly develop innovative solutions for the 3D post processing and adapt these solutions to the demands of industrial users.”
This premise is fully confirmed by Matteo Rigamonti, Founder at Weerg: “The HP 3D Automatic Unpacking Station has fully met our expectations for an automatic unpacking solution. With a growing fleet of HP Jet Fusion 5210 systems at high-volume production, the unpacking process requires a lot of time and resources. Thanks to this solution, our unpacking process became not only significantly faster, but we are also reclaiming more powder. The process is precise, and works well even for small and delicate parts.” The company, a leading industrial parts provider located in Scorzè, Italy, produces around 2,500 pieces per day and has thoroughly tested the new machine at their facilities during numerous trial runs. Matteo continues: “As we expand our business, these enhanced capabilities are designed to help us meet customer demand, and improve our turnaround times, for high volume production parts.”