XJet Ltd, Rehovot, Israel, has launched a new system to automate the post-processing of XJet parts called SMART (Support Material Automatic Removal Technology). The equipment is said to provide the last link in the chain for automated end-to-end Additive Manufacturing using XJet NanoParticle Jetting™ (NPJ).
SMART works seamlessly with all XJet Carmel AM machines, automating the removal of the soluble support material and eliminating the dependency on operator expertise. The 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,” stated 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,” Danai continued. “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, minimise operational costs, and ensure the premium quality of parts is repeatable.”
XJet explains that its soluble support material works with all its ceramic and metal build materials and the ability to 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 AM.
Danai added, “One of our beta customers has reported a 90% reduction in cleaning time and hassle using the XJet SMART station, so we’re delighted with the results! 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.”
The SMART station will be showcased at Formnext 2021, in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 16–19.