Baker Industries and Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions Establish Strategic Relationship with GA-ASI on Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing Feasibility Study

MACOMB, MI – Baker Industries, a Lincoln Electric Company, and Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions (LEAS) today announced a new strategic relationship with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) on a research and development project exploring the feasibility of wire-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) for producing steel layup tooling used in the manufacturing of composite lamination for GA-ASI’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

GA-ASI sought a solution for complex tooling that was repeatable, accurate, vacuum-tight, and rigid enough to withstand the stress and fatigue caused by repetitive autoclave cycles. After a collaborative review of several tool geometries and requirements, the companies’ engineering teams determined that WAAM could be the right solution.

Our turnaround time can be significantly quicker than larger job shops, and we can usually ramp up production quickly to combat fluctuations in customer demand.

Mike Wangelin, Business Development Manager, Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions/Baker Industries

Coupled with Baker’s robust post-processing, fabrication, and inspection capabilities, WAAM’s ability to quickly produce large, complex components using several materials could present a comprehensive solution to GA-ASI’s production tooling needs.

While still in the process of qualification at GA-ASI, the process has demonstrated preliminary success toward reaching production-level use in GA-ASI’s manufacturing operations. Overall, GA-ASI has seen savings ranging between 30-40% in cost and about 20-30% in lead time using WAAM in place of traditional manufacturing processes for specific tool families and geometries. In addition, the first tool produced has passed GA-ASI’s initial assessments. It is vacuum-tight, has a uniform thermal survey, and exceeds target GD&T requirements.

Wilson Sporting Goods Reimagines Product Development Workflows with Nexa3D x Addifab

Recently the Wilson R&D/product development team has thoroughly involved themselves in the additive manufacturing space, where they leverage a number of partners to assist with continuous product improvement and innovation. “We’re just barely scratching the surface of additive manufacturing,” says Glen Mason, Manager of Advanced Innovation/Industrialization at DeMarini (a division of Wilson Sporting Goods). “Not only are we looking to accelerate tooling and design iteration cycles, but we’re also looking at how to get to production-ready molds with zero R&D test components needed,” he explains. “Our goal with using Nexa3D’s 3D printer and Addifab’s FIM platform is to fail fast, and not stress ourselves out to get a design precisely right the first time.”

Wilson R&D team was looking for a more effective means to produce prototype injection.

Prior to discovering Nexa3D and Addifab, the Wilson design team was using traditional subtractive manufacturing methodologies to produce their tooling for plastic injection mold prototypes. While metal tooling is typically much more rigid and robust than polymer tooling, there are several design constraints one must consider before delving too far into the concept/design phase of things.

Additionally, with a global manufacturing operation to support, Wilson was also looking for ways to shorten their product design lifecycle, and accelerate their time-to-market to find new ways to
quickly churn out functional and testable prototypes.

Prototyping in a Day, Not Months

With Nexa3D’s large print envelope and ultrafast LSPc process, the Wilson R&D group can now produce multiple parts at once, in a rapid manner, allowing for multiple design iterations in a single print batch. In addition, what were previously several components assembled together can now be printed into one singular part, reducing assembly time and increasing durability for a given part.

After drafting an initial concept, the R&D team can typically crank out a prototype in a single working day – a process that would have taken months to create previously.

“Because we can iterate so much quicker, print tools faster than we can machine, and eliminate a couple of the steps in the process, our R&D team can afford to be wrong. This helps us to greatly improve our time-to-market, allowing us to be quick and nimble with our design decision-making process.”

Glen Mason
Manager of Advanced Innovation/Industrialization, DeMarini (a division of Wilson Sporting Goods)

Nexa3D + Addifab Create Strong Relationship

The long-term play is to continue to utilize this Nexa3D x Addifab platform to continue to churn out new innovations and improvements to existing product lines. Mason explained that the team is already using this same workflow to coordinate design efforts for adjacent product lines, and will continue to do so. Although it’s quite difficult to replace the durability and capabilities of metal production tooling, the Wilson product development team is constantly pushing the envelope on what’s possible using additive manufacturing as their primary tool.

 

BAKER INDUSTRIES ACHIEVES ISO 9001:2015, AS9100D & NADCAP AC7130 RECERTIFICATION

ISO 9001:2015

First published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1987, ISO 9001:2015 is a universal standard specifying the requirements for a quality management system (QMS). It is part of the ISO 9000 family, the best-known quality management standard in the world. With over one million companies and organizations possessing a certification from the ISO 9000 family, the standard is based on several quality management-related principles, including a customer-centric focus, motivation and implication of high-level management, process approach, and continual improvement.

AS9100D

Developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries in 1999, AS9100D is a widely adopted and recognized quality management system for the aerospace, aviation, space, and defense industry. This certification complements Baker’s existing ISO 9001:2015 certification and includes additional industry-specific requirements for developing and manufacturing products for the sectors mentioned previously.

NADCAP AC7130

A global cooperative accreditation program for aerospace, defense, and related industries, Nadcap (the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) is “an industry-managed approach to conformity assessment.” Baker’s Nadcap certification, AC7130, ensures accuracy in measuring and inspecting products for these industries throughout the manufacturing process. It complements the two previously mentioned certifications and further strengthens Baker’s quality management processes for its aerospace and defense manufacturing operations.

THE RECERTIFICATION PROCESS

All performed by American Systems Registrar, an ANAB-accredited and IATF-approved registrar specializing in quality-related certifications, Baker’s recertifications involved rigorous, weeks-long audits and assessments. The goal of these extensive audits is to:

OUR CUSTOMERS ARE COMMITTED TO QUALITY; THEIR SUPPLIERS SHOULD BE, TOO.

The scope of these certifications spans every aspect of design, manufacturing, assembly, inspection, and post-sales operations at Baker Industries.

Implementing a solid quality management system governed by these rigorous standards ensures that every part, prototype, or tool leaving Baker Industries is repeatable, in conformance with the tight tolerances required of the industries the company serves, and of top-tier quality.

View or download Baker’s latest certificates:

ABOUT BAKER INDUSTRIES, A LINCOLN ELECTRIC COMPANY

Baker Industries, a Lincoln Electric Company, is an industry-leading supplier to OEM and Tier 1 manufacturers in the world’s most demanding industries. With five state-of-the-art facilities, a robust collection of equipment, and a workforce of hundreds in Macomb, Michigan, Baker is one of the industry’s most diversified and capable suppliers of tooling, prototyping, CNC machining, fabrication, additive manufacturing, and more. For more information, visit www.bakerindustriesinc.com.

MaxResolution3D Relies on Nexa3D to Build its Manufacturing-as-a-Service Business

MaxResolution3D Case Study

 

Birthed in 2021 after a pre-seed funding raise from private investments, Berlin-based startup MaxResolution3D seeks to take on serial production using Nexa3D’s additive manufacturing platform to help close the gap between injection molding, machining, and other traditional manufacturing technologies. Co-Founders Max Männel and Dario Dill have been friends since high school and first got in touch on a work base by scaling Männel’s former e-Commerce startup, Stoeberstube030. In February 2021, they decided to start their second venture through MaxResolution3D.

After much investigation, the team landed on Nexa 3D’s additive manufacturing platform paired with robotics and sensoric for its speed, resolution, and flexibility to cater to numerous Europe-based companies. Operating as a production 3D printing service bureau via Nexa3D’s AM system, MaxResolution3D’s customers span a variety of industries, targeting especially those who are in need of small, complex, polymer components in production quantities.

NXE 400 Platform Proved to be the System of Choice

“With our NXE 400 3D printer, we’re able to keep up with our customers’ demands, which he simply could not achieve with one FFF printer. Because of the fast 3D printing our Nexa3D machine offers, it’s easy for us to have on-demand manufacturing available to our customers,” said Dario Dill.

“Compared to other printers we looked into, the Nexa3D NXE 400 offered nearly perfect surface finish, very comparable to the original CAD model, requiring very little post-secondary work,” Männel added.

One of the factors that largely swung in favor of the NXE 400 came when Dario and Max saw a robotic work cell; engineered by Nexa3D’s German partner, ProductionToGo, for handling part loading and secondary operations. One of their long-term goals as a company is to leverage similar robotics to further automate batch production with their NXE 400 system.

“Compared to other printers we looked into, the Nexa3D NXE 400 offered nearly perfect surface finish, very comparable to the original CAD model, requiring very little post-secondary work.”

MaxResolution3D Team Has Grand Plans to Expand NXE 400 Platform

“Having robotics integrated with the workflow is something we value highly; nearly everything we’re doing manually today we hope to automate in the future,” said Dario Dill, Operations & Digitization Lead, MaxResolution3D. “Additionally, we have a polymer scientist on staff who’s helping us with the experimentation and implementation of various resins and other plastics into our existing material stack.”

With only a year of history with MaxResolution3D, Dario and Max are hard at work landing and expanding onto their current production resin 3D printing partnerships all across Europe. In years to come, the team plans to expand into different geographies, a wider array of industries, and with a larger selection of material offerings. It all started with a single NXE 400 installation.

BAKER INDUSTRIES ACHIEVES ASME BPVC SECTION IX QUALIFICATION

https://blog.bakerindustriesinc.com/en/baker-industries-asme-boiler-pressure-vessel-code-section-ix-qualification

ASME’S BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE

First issued in 1911, the Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code is a set of universally-recognized safety standards developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers that regulate the design, manufacture, installation, inspection, and care of boilers, nuclear components, and other pressure vessels. Section IX of this code relates specifically to the qualification of welders, welding operators, brazers, and brazing operators and the procedures they employ in welding and brazing these items.

This is a new qualification for Baker Industries, which has become a leading provider of CNC machiningfabrication, and additive manufacturing to the oil and energy industry in recent years, and strengthens the company’s already extensive portfolio of qualifications and certifications.

ABOUT BAKER INDUSTRIES, A LINCOLN ELECTRIC COMPANY

Baker Industries, a Lincoln Electric Company, is an industry-leading supplier to OEM and Tier 1 manufacturers in the world’s most demanding industries. With five state-of-the-art facilities, a robust collection of equipment, and a workforce of hundreds in Macomb, Michigan, Baker is one of the industry’s most diversified and capable suppliers of tooling, prototyping, CNC machining, fabrication, additive manufacturing, and more. For more information, visit www.bakerindustriesinc.com.

How CNC Machining Has Transformed Automation in the Plasma Cutting Industry

https://plasmacutteradvisor.com/cnc-machining-transformed-automation-plasma-cutting-industry/

Image by JA Huddleston from Pixabay

Plasma cutting is an evolving industrial technology that’s become a staple workhorse of proven R&D and prototyping capital equipment in metal fabrication production shops around the world.

While the cutting or subtractive manufacturing mechanisms vary between CNC machining and plasma cutting, the overall automation components like servo motors, ball screws, and controls are relatively parallel in terms of performance, utility, and programming.

After nearly a century of development, machining has enabled adjacent manufacturing and industrial processes to invent several other subtractive methodologies, such as wire EDM, CNC woodworking, water jetting, and more.

The two technologies, plasma and CNC, have proved to be sufficient in large volume production settings. Today’s automation equipment allows manufacturers to use these machines for heavy volumes or parts, large mixes of different designs, and a wide selection of metals to create components from.

They’ve also spurred creative thinking behind design and manufacturing for different industries such as plastic injection molding.

It’s not uncommon to find these machines being run unmanned, often with robotics woven into the overall process, enabling maximum throughput and efficiency.

Both plasma cutting and CNC machining have very similar procedures and workflows from an automation perspective, which has allowed manufacturing innovators to grow these two industrial technologies off of one another.

Overlaps in Technical Capabilities

There has usually been a clear, distinct gap between what a CNC machine tool is capable of, and what a CNC plasma machine is fit to handle.

For the large majority of jobs, a plasma cutter will be best suited for sheet metal, and cutting or profiling other sorts of thin material. And a CNC milling or turning machine can handle large blocks of raw material at a time, in three dimensions.

Because of this clear gap in what each machine can take on, the technologies have been able to grow in parallel, rather than competing against one another.

Difference in Material Machinability

With plasma cutting, the maximum temperature attained by the plasma is often limited by the materials it is cutting.

The same limitation is typically not present with CNC machining, which can cut through most materials regardless of their hardness and rigidity.

Because of this, there is often another distinct difference between the materials each particular machine can take on. Thankfully, as plasma and machine tools or cutting inserts have dramatically improved and have seen a reduction in cost, these types of equipment have widened the range of materials they can tackle.

2D versus 3D

Plasma cutting is largely a 2D manufacturing process for designers to create an object from a DXF, AutoCAD, or other 2D CAD drawing.

Machining was once a 2D-only technology, but it has quickly morphed into a three-dimensional process, with modern machines having at least four axes to machine with. This helps to further differentiate the technologies, while still maintaining very similar nuts and bolts.

As an example, in the automotive industry plasma cutters will likely cut out the individual body panels for cars and trucks, while a CNC machine will be used to hog out a huge block of cast aluminum to manufacture engine blocks, crankcases, and other various internal combustion components.

Plasma cutting, water jetting, or CNC routing are all viable 2D methodologies for large-scale prototyping, especially for large, flat objects that are just in need of profiling.

Feeds & Speeds

Two of the biggest variables with any CNC metal cutting process come from:

Again, the only difference between these two manufacturing processes is the method in which the metal workpiece is being removed. The general mechanisms that drive the tool, the control that’s running the software program, and everything in between is nearly the same.

Because of that, it also helps a CNC machinist to adopt plasma cutting easily, and vice versa. Nevertheless, this allows for continuous improvements and innovations to coexist between two seemingly similar metal removal or subtractive manufacturing processes.

Overall, production capacity in CNC will usually be much larger than with plasma cutting. The widespread adoption of CNC machining has led to extremely fast and precise machines that can hold tighter tolerances, be automated almost entirely, and serve as a great means toward high volume, lot manufacturing.

Integration to Robotics

Being that both industrial technologies are computer-controlled, it makes synchronizing with robotics and other forms of automation fairly easy.

With plasma cutting, there will often be links to bending, pressing, punching, and shearing machines to automate the process of taking raw sheet metal and turning it into an end product. For CNC machining, it’s common to find pallet changing systems and robotic arms to help achieve fully automated, lights-out manufacturing, which turns out machined components 24 hours a day.

In the past decade, scaled cost of electronics, software enhancements, programmability, and general ease of use has created a perfect marriage between robotics and the CNC machining industry, which continues to allow manufacturers to do more with less.

Similar Components, Accelerated Innovation

While the subtractive manufacturing techniques and processes are worlds apart, the basic components like software and hardware that drive CNC machining and plasma cutting are almost identical. This immense amount of transferability has enabled the development of automation equipment behind the scenes to rapidly advance overtime.

What was once NC machining became CNC as both software and hardware began to evolve, especially within the metalworking industry. CAM software packages became much more robust as well, allowing programmers, manufacturing engineers, and CAD designers to understand the manufacturability of their concept or idea before actually manufacturing it.

Ultimately, these machines are all driving a tool in a similar 2D manner—the servo systems, linear actuators, and other components doing the hard work are virtually the same in each machining methodology.

So as you can see, while the two technologies are very different in their own respects, the basic automation fundamentals for CNC and plasma cutting remain the same.

Both have made tremendous adjacent innovation strides since inception many decades ago, and continue to serve as a useful means toward scaled, high-volume manufacturing production for a variety of materials, in both 2D and 3D patterns for nearly infinite applications within a variety of industries.

How CNC Machining Has Transformed Automation In The Manufacturing Industry

How CNC Machining Has Transformed Automation In The Manufacturing Industry

CNC machining has made revolutionary strides over the past few decades. What started as manual machining during the Industrial Revolution evolved into NC machining, and today it has become a fully automated, systematic manufacturing process found in virtually every country and industry.

Today’s high-volume, production-oriented machinery for CNC, injection molding, fabrication, and most other manufacturing methodologies is a highly sophisticated, automated system or processes working together in complete synchrony.

Improvements to the machining industry on a global scale have also allowed for the adoption of newer automation technologies that spill over into other industries such as injection molding.

Below are just a few of the ways automation has led to dramatic advancements in CNC machining.

Impact On Automation In Manufacturing

Without a doubt, the automation, robotics, and systems that have gone into CNC machining have made it the powerful, seamless, and highly precise process it is today.

Round-the-clock operation

Pallet-changing systems, milling machines, the internet of things (IoT), and a variety of other technologies have made it possible for the CNC process to run continuously, stopping only for routine or planned maintenance, part changeovers, or setups for new jobs.

Precision

Manual machining and other labor-intensive manufacturing methodologies have always been prone to human error, allowing for a lack of precision, lower yields, and less tolerancing and surface finish to be prevalent early on.

Since this process is now entirely computer or data driven, as long as the programmer and operator or technician is highly skilled, there is very little room for error, and it will almost always produce a repeatable, precise metal component.

Precision-ground ball screws have become increasingly accurate over the years, and servo systems have become repeatable, faster, and able to operate more efficiently.

The quality of machine tools and advancements in the coated inserts and CAT40/CAT50 tooling that holds these extremely hard and rigid cutting tools has also improved the overall quality of machining, plus it has allowed for a great surface finish.

Safety

Safety measures have evolved significantly over the years to answer the changing risks and demands of developing technology. Safety is naturally a priority for OEMs who design heavy, capital equipment.

Since many operations are automated, this allows most machines today to be enclosed—and for operators to remain clear of dangerous moving parts. A suite of sensors is in place to stop injuries and other damage from happening.

For example, a door safety switch on a machining center can automatically stop all machining operations to avoid moving spindles and flying metal chips while the operator has the doors open.

Speed

With faster automation hardware and metalworking components, the overall speed, throughput, and efficiency of the metalcutting, plastic injection molding, or virtually any motor-controlled manufacturing process has improved dramatically.

Some of the contributing factors are:

Thanks to automation, CNC machines are becoming faster every year, continually speeding up manufacturing.

Adaptability

CNC machines are known to be flexible in the types, quantities, materials, and designs they can handle. Whether it’s millions of nuts, bolts, and fasteners on a screw machine, tens of thousands of circular components made from fully automated turning centers, or batches of various high-mix, low-volume cycle runs with a milling machine, they can always handle the task.

From a workflow standpoint, a different array of machining or turning centers can be placed on the factory floor in ways that drive immense scale, minimal overhead, and maximum profitability.

The industry has also seen a number of workflow efficiency upgrades with the addition of robotics, including collaborative robots, also known as cobots. What robotics brings to the machine shop is the possibility of “lights-out,” round-the-clock machining.

CNC, injection molding, fabrication, and other industrial technologies can function without constant human involvement. This allows the human workforce to advance from repetitive, potentially dangerous tasks to taking on more technical, bigger-picture responsibilities.

Closing Remarks

Automation has driven improved efficiency in every element of the CNC design and manufacturing process. This includes CAD or CAM software that helps the designer optimize their digital design for proper design for manufacturability (DfM). For the machine tool, it’s a servo-driven drivetrain that is entirely automated, from raw material to finished metal piece of manufacturing art.

CNC machining has helped birth all sorts of manufacturing innovations, such as 3D printing, electrical discharge machining (EDM), hydrostatics, and other new forms of additive and subtractive manufacturing.

With each development comes new software, a faster motor, or more precise tooling that leads to improvements in efficiency in all adjacent technologies.

Baker Industries: Invests in Giddings & Lewis CMM and PolyWorks Software

Winner of Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shop Award and aerospace/automotive manufacturer Baker Industries, a Lincoln Electric Company, recently purchased a Giddings & Lewis Cordax 150 with Polyworks CMM software. The new CMM will help accommodate a large volume of aircraft and automotive parts and components created using their CNC machining and large-format metal additive manufacturing equipment and facilities.

With any machining or 3D printing operation, there is usually a quality assurance (QA) team working in unison to assure that components are within tolerance, maintain a particular surface finish, and are consistent from the first part to the one-millionth part. With aircraft/automotive companies today demanding higher volumes, greater part complexity, and a variety of new materials on the market, it is imperative to have a mostly automated system. Baker aims to leverage their new Giddings & Lewis CMM alongside their existing 3D scanning practices to increase the efficiency and throughput of their QA efforts.

Before & After the New CMM & Software Traditionally, the quality assurance team at Baker Industries’ facilities in Macomb, Michigan, use Faro laser trackers in addition to manual CMMs for the bulk of their measurement and quality assurance work. While this QA methodology might be adaptable to any component, it is not easy to automate and requires a large amount of human intervention.

This can lead to headaches later down the line if a simple human error occurs and distorts the measurements and datum compiled by the equipment. Additionally, this new inspection process will allow Baker to measure components in a “lights out” fashion, setting up a particular part and allowing the machine to run autonomously overnight.

Another considerable benefit of Baker’s latest CMM investment is cost savings when human error is almost entirely eliminated. The learning curve is relatively short, as someone with basic GD&T knowledge can pick up and utilize this intuitive probing system thanks to the “teach” function within the controls.

A bonus is the free training provided with the six seats of Polyworks software that Baker’s QA team can take advantage of. All of this is in the spirit of diagnosing and preventing manufacturing defects through precise, real-time measurements on finished composite, metal, and other high-performance materials.

With a combination of laser tracking and fully automated CMM inspection, the QA team at Baker aims to re-prioritize their technicians’ time into more analytical tasks. “This new process will allow us to marry the two (laser tracking & CMM) together in a way that will highlight each technology’s key attributes,” says Kerry Cameron, QA Manager at Baker. CAD + CMM

The beauty of this system is the marriage of the original CAD model with the real-life measurements taken by the Giddings & Lewis machine. “With the Polyworks software running in unison with measurements taken on the finished piece, it will tell us how erring a part might be, by how much, and can accommodate part characteristics such as run-off and repeatability to ensure that we’re hitting the mark.” CMM measurements can also scale from penny-sized parts to the machine’s 5 ft. (L) x 3 ft. (W) x 42 in. (H) working envelope.

“We can plug in the CAD model, take some quick measurements with the CMM probe, and quickly understand how a part looks compared to its original digital model,” Kerry explains. “This can be accomplished much quicker than scanning the entire component by hand, especially for some of the larger aerospace components we work with.”

Reverse Engineering Parts & Components Another unique feature about this QA setup is the reverse engineering capabilities offered within the Polyworks software. A sizable portion of the metal additive jobs Baker’s 3D department takes on are parts produced with traditional manufacturing techniques such as CNC machining, injection molding, or casting/forging. With their new equipment, technicians can quickly place a part on the CMM’s table, probe a couple of datum and part features, and quickly gain insights into how to reverse engineer that particular component using the Polyworks software modules.

“This will significantly improve the way our Additive Solutions team designs and manufactures 3D-printed components, especially those with exotic materials and sophisticated geometries,” Kerry says. “Right now, we’re working on a flight component for [an aerospace OEM] that’s printed with Inconel®, which is just one aerospace project that’s utilizing our new inspection/validation system.

Inspection/Quality Assurance Focus “We do 100% inspection on everything. It is the Baker standard and is our way of ensuring that everything is good and sound,” says Kerry. “A lot of these parts can take several hours to check, and with our new CMM, we’re able to set it up and let it run overnight, which was not possible with our previous equipment.” Kerry also explained a flight component program for another aerospace OEM that is being inspected much more consistently, with little to no human intervention needed to validate these mission-critical, flight-worthy components.

Looking forward, Baker hopes to leverage their new CMM software and hardware further to improve the inspection and measurement process as a whole. With added benefits such as reverse engineering capabilities for Design for Manufacturability (DfM), direct integration with CAD programs, and improved functionality for additively manufactured parts, it will beautifully complement the QA team’s existing processes.

RP America: 5 Signs a Stereolithography 3D Printer Needs Service

https://3dprinting.rpamerica.us/blog/signs-a-stereolithography-3d-printer-needs-service

As the original method of additive manufacturing, stereolithography (SLA) is a widely adopted form of 3D printing. This resin-based printing process has experienced more than three decades of technological innovations and advancements. While machines have become much more efficient; materials have become much less costly, and software has enhanced the design/manufacturing experience, these printers will still need routine maintenance and care to ensure commercial-grade quality and accuracy.
 
For an industrial manufacturing firm, an optimally running machine is critical to maintaining profitability, maximizing throughput, and minimizing downtime. Regular maintenance, especially during anticipated high-usage periods, will help ensure your 3D printer keeps operating smoothly.
 
How often does my SLA printer need to be serviced?
As with any piece of capital equipment, it’s best to consult with your maintenance partner to determine the recommended maintenance schedule for your particular printer. Having a trusted maintenance partner for your industrial 3D printer will prove valuable as you scale your business and look to take on larger, longer, and more complex projects.
 
What are key signs that my SLA printer needs service?
Properly servicing your SLA printer throughout its life is the best way to achieve consistency print after print. While maintenance needs vary depending on the machine, how it’s used, the materials involved, and other factors, there are a number of common signs that indicate it’s time for service. Here are five key warning signs:
 
1. CONSISTENTLY POOR SURFACE FINISH OR ACCURACY
One surefire sign your printer needs service is consistently inaccurate parts, poor topology, or any other defects in the accuracy of the parts it produces. Examples include things like rough surface finish and dimensions or features that are not printed to specifications.
 
2. INCONSISTENT MATERIAL COMPOSITION
If you plan to run several different materials through your commercial SLA 3D printer, it is crucial to be wary of any part or material inconsistencies to catch problems before they happen. Most OEMs recommend that you recalibrate between each material swap to accurately adjust your print settings and ensure part consistency.
 
3. HEAVY USAGE
When you’re using multiple types of materials and running a variety of high mix, low volume jobs, consider having your SLA printer calibrated and cleaned. This is a great preventive maintenance practice.
 
4. INACCURACIES IN CALIBRATION
Inaccuracies in part manufacturing can be a sign that your 3D printer’s optics or servo motors need attention. If troubles with part calibration or orientation persist, there are several possible reasons for part failure.
 
5. NOISY OPERATION
Servo motors, ball screws, lead screws, and other automation components have come a long way since the debut of 3D printing. If your printer is making unusual noises while the platform is moving, these components could be wearing out prematurely.
 
With widespread adoption of 3D printing, reliable printer service is essential. When it comes time to service your SLA printer, it’s important to choose a partner who has extensive experience with additive manufacturing equipment and specific knowledge of stereolithography.
 
RP America has been servicing resin 3D printers for well over a decade. In addition to providing service for a wide range of SLA and LCD 3D printers, RP America is a licensed distributor for Photocentric, XYZ Printing, RAPLAS, and several other commercial-grade OEMs. Check out our blog for more printing tips, or visit our website for more information about our service offerings.

Baker Industries: NEW PAINT BOOTH FOR LARGE TOOLING & COMPONENTS

https://www.bakerindustriesinc.com/baker-purchases-garmat-spray-paint-booth-finishing-large-aerospace-automotive-components-tooling/

A/E/C manufacturer Baker Industries, a Lincoln Electric company, purchases a Garmat® USA spray booth to accompany its CNC machining, fabrication, and additive manufacturing capabilities.

The Benefits of an Industrial Paint Booth
The new paint booth will significantly add to Baker’s large-format parts’ overall manufacturing process and workflow.

Consistency and Accuracy

Garmat®’s intricate filtration, temperature control, and airflow system ultimately make the painting process more repeatable and consistent. Removing debris from the outside air and maintaining a temperature-controlled environment will significantly increase consistency and accuracy.

Health and Safety

A benefit to both the employer, the employee, and governing bodies of the industrial sector is the safety the new booth provides to those who will be painting for long periods. As time has progressed, the regulations on these processes concerning employee safety have become much tighter in conjunction with emissions standards. The Garmat® systems allows any shop to comply with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards as well.

Reduced Overhead, Increased Throughput

Traditional painting was previously limited by equipment and facility constraints, both of which will no longer be an obstacle with the addition of the Garmat® booth.

Garmat’s Efficiency by Design

Garmat® USA equipment is built to meet or exceed all applicable codes. NFPA (33, 86, 70, 91, and 101) Standards, National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants 6H (NESHAP subpart HHHHHH), OSHA standards (29CFR 1910.107), ETL, IFC, and IBC.

*Code compliance is dependent upon how the equipment is installed and used. Garmat® prides itself on its intricate airflow system, which does not collect any debris or particulates from the outside world, thus maintaining the paint booth free of contaminates and protecting quality and surface finishes. “Our [booths] bring in 100% of [the] air from outside the building, keeping the spray temperature at the desired set point.

[Additionally], the paint booth will recirculate the air in the bake cycle, which can reach up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, accelerating the drying process and thus, increasing production while saving costs on the gas fuel needed by the 4M BTU burner. All Garmat® booths have an energy conservation cycle, which puts air into recirculation in the spray mode when the painter is not using spray air,” explains Ken Miklos, President of Spray Booth Products, the Garmat® distributor for Baker’s new booth.

“The airflow system in their particular unit will help to exhaust all of the overspray, VOC, and smells as well as speed up the drying process [and] offer [several] filters that will keep any debris from getting into the painting stream.” Additionally, the Garmat® system offers a paint mix room to assist with cleaning the painters’ tools, ventilate out any harmful vapors, and maintain the overall quality and health of employees.

Workflow Improvements

The most significant benefit to Baker Industries and its manufacturing offerings will be primarily from the throughput and workflow improvements seen with a new spray paint booth.

“A number of some of Baker’s larger aerospace jobs would take an average of three days to complete; that same set of components will now only take them a day to complete,” says Miklos. “Garmat® prides itself on its relationship with distributors to be able to service all of their equipment, especially after the sale,” explains Debbie Teter, Director of Sales and Marketing at Garmat® USA.

In addition to better interior lighting and an intricate filtration system, Garmat®’s industrial-grade equipment includes paint booth enclosures for automation packages, providing clean environments for those wanting to complete automated spraying at a production level.

Ken Mikols, Garmat® Distributor for the Detroit area, has taken advantage of the advanced engineering in Garmat paint booths for his automotive manufacturing customers. “For some of the automotive companies we serve in the Greater Detroit area, we’ve done [complete] automation projects for customers wanting to have an entirely automated system of spray,” says Mikols.

Full-Service Machining and Manufacturing Powerhouse

The additional paint booth serves as a big step forward for Baker Industries, expanding its overall capabilities and offerings to aerospace, automotive, space, and defense customers.

In addition to its robust CNC machine shop floor and additive manufacturing facilities, the ability to paint components on the fly will allow Baker to cover the entire scope of a project, from a block of raw material to the complete, assembled, and finished part shipped to the customer. The new paint booth is currently in production, and Baker hopes to have it operational by the end of the year.

To speak with an expert about your CNC machining, fabrication, 3D printing, or finishing needs, get in touch with us today via our website, phone at +1 (586) 286-4900, or email at info@bakerindustriesinc.com.