Custom Precision Cleaning System for Additive Manufacturing

Layton Technologies designed a custom solvent cleaning system to remove wax from 3D-printed parts, replacing an inefficient manual process.


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Custom precision cleaning system from Latyton

Layton Technologies designed this system to perform precision solvent-based cleaning of 3D printed parts.  Source: Layton Technologies

When an orthopedic implant developer and manufacturer sought to improve their additive manufacturing (3D printing) cleaning process, Layton Technologies Ltd. (Staffordshire, U.K.) created a custom solution.

The additive manufacturing process in question called for the 3D printing of parts using two different proprietary wax products. One of these waxes is used as a support material for the second wax, which forms the basis of complex geometry molds for the orthopedic implants.

Previously, removing the support wax was a labor-intensive process which involved heating and agitating a flammable solvent in an open-top container using a hot plate and a magnetic stirrer. This set up afforded little control of the flammability hazards associated with heating the solvent and provided the operators with minimal protection from any solvent vapors and fumes.

In addition, the melting point of the support wax was only 5°C higher than the melting point of the mold wax, but it is essential to preserve the exact shape of the mold wax during support wax removal.

The manual process was causing a bottle neck that held up production.

Layton conducted trials and developed a single-stage system that used temperature control to remove only one type of wax. It was also designed to keep the waste stream to a minimum. The resulting process was said to be less labor intensive and greatly reduce downtime.

Layton produced a comprehensive Design Documentation Package which included a general arrangement diagram, a piping and instrumentation diagram and a functional design specification, a software design specification and a comprehensive project plan. It also designed and manufactured custom fixturing to hold the components and optimize the cleaning and drying process.

The final design resulted in a fully automated, low-emission, flammable solvent cleaning system with Layton’s 5-year warranty.

Layton Technologies Limited | laytontechnologies.com  | +441782370400