PostProcess Technologies announces VAD tech for powder removal of SLS & MJF 3D printed parts

PostProcess Technologies has announced the development of its patent-pending Variable Acoustic Displacement (VAD) technology for automated polymer powder removal.

VAD technology has been designed to support the Selective Laser Sintering and Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing processes deliver parts at production scales.

Considering traditional depowdering methods to be a limitation on 3D printing as a true production technology, since they prevent end-to-end digitalisation of the additive manufacturing workflow, the company has sought to commercialise a process that automates the process of powder removal and enables a closed-loop feedback.

VAD employs AUTOMAT3D software to optimise mechanical energy, combining it with intelligent closed-loop thermal and displacement techniques to ‘reduce cycle times while increasing part fidelity.’ Video and infrared monitoring help to control the process thermodynamically, while the automation capabilities see the release, transfer and recovery of loose powder done in a hands-free manner. Software-tuned frequencies are said to be able to identify geometries, with sound waves functioning as a non-destructive mechanical energy source to de-cake powder. Integration with PostProcess’ CONNECT3D software, meanwhile, will allow users to operate and manage their PostProcess Technologies equipment remotely.

The company has worked to validate its VAD process with a select number of customers, with more now set to get early access to the technology before it is commercially released.

“We have a strong team commitment to developing solutions that will enable the scalability of the market, and partnerships with early access customers will help ensure technology alignment to market needs,” commented PostProcess CTO Daniel J Hutchinson, who invented VAD technology. “PostProcess is not only expanding its portfolio to better serve those using powder applications, but we are making material reuse easier and unleashing a more sustainable future for the additive manufacturing industry.”

PostProcessing Technologies is not the only company working to develop solutions for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology. Earlier this week, an automated unpacking station was announced in collaboration with Rösler, while HP also partnered with AMT. 

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