Canadian company Spark & Co. has been in business since 2002 and is a provider of both additive and subtractive machinery and more. The company’s offered technology includes waterjet, additive, EDM, laser, press brake, milling, turning, shaping and finishing. It serves a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, fabrication, defense, automation, architecture, medicine and more. If there’s an industrial need, Spark & Co. likely has a way to fill it.
For its additive manufacturing business, Spark & Co. sells SLM Solutions machines, which employ Selective Laser Melting, or SLM, technology. Selective Laser Melting uses a laser to melt metal powder in a pre-programmed shape; once the powder has been melted, another layer of powder is added on top of it and melted, and the process continues until the part has been built. Unlike the similar Direct Metal Laser Sintering, or DMLS, the powder particles are completely melted during the process. Spark & Co. offers three different SLM Solutions machines:The SLM 125 Selective Laser Melting Machine is the most compact of the 3D printers SLM Solutions and Spark & Co. offer. It was designed to quickly produce smaller parts, employing a single 400 W fiber laser, a patented bidirectional coating and adjustable gas flow. The SLM 125 can print with stainless steel, tool steel, cobalt chrome, nickel alloy, aluminum and titanium.It also offers additional options like the PSM powder sieving machine as a perfect complement to the SLM 125.The SLM 280 2.0 Selective Laser Melting Machine is the midsize 3D printer in the series. It features patented multi-beam technology with single, dual and twin optics, patented bi-directional powder coating and optimized gas consumption for series production and one-off production with individual parameters. It also offers additional options including high temperature substrate-plate heating, the PSM unit sieves or the modular PSV powder supply unit.The SLM 500 Selective Laser Melting Machine is the largest option. It was designed for use in production and features a comprehensive basic configuration as well as a wide range of options to support application-oriented machine configuration. The high-output machine is well-suited for series production of complex parts, offering fully automated powder management and patented multi-beam technology with four simultaneous fiber lasers.
In addition to the 3D printers themselves, Spark & Co. offers powder sieving stations the PSM unit or the modular PSV powder supply unit. The PSM unit is available SLM 125 or SLM 280. During the sieving process the rough particles are sieved out and are separated in an overflow bottle. The reusable metal powder, which has the defined grain size, is transported to the storage container and can be directly used again. It runs automatically without influence on the running build process, reducing ancillary times.
The PSV can be connected to the SLM 280 or SLM 500 selective laser melting system. The PSV comes with a 90-liter powder tank an an integrated ultrasonic powder sieve sleeve, and features fully automatic powder transport via vacuum technology using three independent conveying routes. In the first route, the feed route, the metal powder is sieved through an integrated ultrasonic sieve before being fed into the process to ensure that no oversized particles or foreign objects make their way in. The second route, recirculation, returns the excess metal powder from the conversion shafts to the PSV. In the third route, the recovery route, the finished parts are unpacked and the unused powder is recovered.
The transport, sieving and storage of the powder take place in a closed system with an inert gas atmosphere. When working with metal powder, safety is paramount, and the PSV ensures safety with contactless powder handling.
Finally, Spark & Co. sells a range of metal powders, courtesy again of SLM Solutions. These powders include tool steel, stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, aluminum, cobalt chrome and titanium.
If interested in any of Spark & Co.’s products, you can contact the company here.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Images: Spark & Co.]
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