3DPrint-AU brings three-di­men­sional shapes to life with high qual­ity com­pressed air from Kaeser

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS -

3DPrint-AU re­cently in­vested in a Kaeser SM9T ro­tary screw com­pres­sor to meet its re­quire­ment for a re­li­able sup­ply of high qual­ity and clean com­pressed air.

3D Print­ing Sys­tems is Aus­tralia’s lead­ing dis­trib­u­tor of 3D print­ers. The com­pany re­cently ex­panded its ca­pa­bil­i­ties by open­ing its own ded­i­cated 3D print ser­vices fa­cil­ity – 3DPrint-AU that ser­vices con­sumer and busi­ness cus­tomers Aus­tralia wide.

Util­is­ing Elite Se­lec­tive Sin­ter­ing (SLS) ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing 3D print­ers, 3DPrint-AU can print a range of prod­ucts from; hob­bi­est mod­els and life crit­i­cal orthopaedic sur­gi­cal gloves, to strong and flex­i­ble func­tional ny­lon parts for in­dus­try such as com­po­nent parts for the automotive sec­tor.

The SLS print­ing process in­volves a laser be­ing aimed into a bed of ny­lon pow­der. The laser fuses (or sin­ters) the ny­lon pow­der, layer upon layer. Once cooled, ex­cess pow­der is then brushed off to re­veal the three-di­men­sional shape.

Com­pressed air is an in­te­gral part of this process. The at­mos­phere in the print­ing cham­ber must be tightly con­trolled. This is achieved by us­ing ni­tro­gen as an in­ert gas, and this is pro­duced by pass­ing com­pressed air through a ni­tro­gen gen­er­a­tor. Cru­cially, the com­pressed air must be clean and dry, there­fore free of wa­ter and oil vapour con­tam­i­nants, which if present could cause prod­uct spoilage.

As a re­sult a re­li­able sup­ply of com­pressed air is a must, as Bruce Jack­son, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor at 3DPrint-AU ex­plains: “If the com­pres­sor sys­tem were to fail it would de­te­ri­o­rate the qual­ity of the end prod­uct. We can­not open the printer up mid-job, there­fore we only find out if a print job has been suc­cess­ful once it has com­pleted. With a typ­i­cal print job run­ning con­tin­u­ously for 40 plus hours, you can un­der­stand why it was im­per­a­tive that we sourced a re­li­able sup­ply of com­pressed air!”

Hav­ing learnt that Kaeser com­pres­sors were renowned for their re­li­a­bil­ity, in set­ting up the new 3D print­ing pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Auck­land, 3DPrint-AU con­tacted Kaeser Com­pres­sors dis­trib­u­tor Plum­mer Com­pres­sors, who rec­om­mended and sub­se­quently in­stalled, a Kaeser SM9T se­ries ro­tary screw com­pres­sor with in­te­grated re­frig­er­a­tion dryer.

The com­pact SM se­ries ro­tary screw com­pres­sors from Kaeser pro­vide a re­li­able and energy ef­fi­cient sup­ply of com­pressed air. At the heart of ev­ery SM se­ries com­pres­sor lies a pre­mium qual­ity screw com­pres­sor block that fea­tures Kaeser’s Sigma Pro­file ro­tors. De­signed to en­sure max­i­mum energy ef­fi­ciency, the Sigma Pro­file ro­tors can achieve power sav­ings of up to 15 per­cent com­pared with con­ven­tional screw com­pres­sor block ro­tor pro­files.

In ad­di­tion, the SM T mod­els in­clude an in­te­grated re­frig­er­a­tion dryer. Linked to the op­er­a­tional sta­tus of the com­pres­sor, the re­frig­er­a­tion dryer au­to­mat­i­cally shuts down when the com­pres­sor is not in use for the ul­ti­mate energy sav­ing so­lu­tion.

Jack­son con­cluded: “The Kaeser com­pressed air sys­tem has proven to be re­li­able in op­er­a­tion. In fact we are so im­pressed with its per­for­mance that we are now rec­om­mend­ing the Kaeser equip­ment to our 3D printer cus­tomers.’”

3DPrint-AU con­tin­ues to rely on Plum­mer Com­pres­sors for its on-go­ing main­te­nance re­quire­ments.

Quiet, de­pend­able and ef­fi­cient, the Kaeser SM se­ries ro­tary screw com­pres­sors are avail­able with drive power 5.5 to 9 kW, work­ing pres­sure 8, 11 and 15 bar with free air de­liv­er­ies from 0.60 up to 1.50 m³/min (fixed speed) or 0.34 to 1.24 m³/min (vari­able speed).

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