Powder Motion Labs' Electroplaning™ technology allows non-contact spreading, leveling, and compacting of powder particles. Unlike conventional mechanical leveling methods, Electroplaning™ utilizes electrostatic forces to manipulate powder particles from a distance. This means protruding parts in the powder bed do not damage or wear the leveling mechanism.
Our technology has already been implemented and tested on Powder Bed Fusion machines and proven to drastically improve print reliability. Electroplaning™ is unaffected by parts prodtruding above the powder bed, which means no worn down or damaged recoater blades ruining the print.
At the heart of our Electroplaning™ technology is the electrode. The electrode is what performs the leveling and compacting action on the powder bed. The electrode just needs to be as long as the powder bed is wide to cover the entire surface area of the bed. Typically, the electrode is positioned a few millimeters above the powder bed for best performance.
For situations where the powder supply is dispensed onto the powder bed from above, the Electroplaning™ electrode can typically be positioned just below the hopper, behind the dispensing drum.
First, powder is dispensed roughly onto the bed by a dispensing drum. Then, as the electrode passes over the bed, it levels and compacts it, creating a perfect new layer of powder.
Many existing powder bed additive manufacturing machines feature a powder supply beside the print bed. A conventional recoater blade pushes the powder from the powder supply over the print bed. For these types of machines, an Electroplaning™ augmented solution can be very effective.
Electroplaning™ augmented systems have a conventional recoater blade or roller in addition to an Electroplaning™ electrode. If the blade or roller becomes damaged during a print, Electroplaning™ corrects the error and re-levels the bed, preventing further damage to the blade and allowing the print to continue.
In fact, due to the leveling action of the electrode, the recoater blade or roller can often be replaced with a coarse brush. The brush roughly spreads powder into place while still being resistant to wear and damage from protruding parts, while Electroplaning™ provides precision leveling and compaction.
We'd love to find out how Electroplaning™ can help meet your powder leveling needs. For more information, customization, or pricing information, please contact us: