Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)
Stratasys to use SAF technology in powder bed fusion 3D printers
March 29, 2021 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Stratasys, a provider of polymer 3D printing solutions, has announced a forthcoming line of powder bed fusion–based 3D printers.
The new H Series Production Platform will be powered by selective absorption fusion (SAF) technology designed to meet the needs of volume manufacturing.
Commercial availability of 3D printers based on SAF technology is currently expected in the third quarter of 2021.
What is selective absorption fusion?
SAF is a new industrial-grade additive manufacturing technology that delivers production level throughput for end-use parts. SAF-based 3D printers can deliver a competitive cost per part at production level throughput and with the part quality, consistency and reliability that ensures satisfaction and high production yield.
The SAF technology uses a counter-rotating roller to coat powder layers onto a print bed and prints absorber fluid to image the part layers. The imaged layers are fused by passing an IR lamp over the entire span of the print bed.
This is executed in the same direction across the print bed to provide a uniform thermal experience – and therefore part consistency – for all printed parts regardless of their placement in the build.
Advances in powder management
SAF technology’s Big Wave powder management system ensures the necessary powder is always distributed across the whole print bed, maintaining a large, thermally stable wave of powder.
Any overflow powder is quickly recirculated, minimizing powder thermal exposure and reducing powder aging. The result is less fresh powder required.
SAF technology is used to selectively jet high energy-absorption (HAF) fluid onto areas of a layer of powder-form material in one full-width pass. Industrial piezoelectric print heads jet single or multiple drops of the fluid to produce either fine detail or large areas, without compromising throughput.
The technology supports unique, high-specialty, functional fluids to process a broad range of powders. Infrared energy is radiated to fuse the selected areas and the underlying particles.
Tight thermal control avoids warping, quality fall-out, and reduces peak temperatures required in the bed, making SAF technology ideal for production.