The possibilities for objects that can be created with 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) are endless. Structures with moving parts or complicated internal geometries are now possible which could not be made with other tools.
Ultrasonic cleaning is potentially an excellent universal tool for cleaning the objects when printed. However, ultrasound baths by themselves have been found to be unsuitable for cleaning 3D printed objects.
Using our ultrasound knowledge and novel cleaning technologies, BuBclean aims at making ultrasonic cleaning suitable for use in 3D printing.
We’re currently working on the following areas:
In order to 3D print an object, it is created layer by layer until the entire object is generated. In many print processes, a support material is used to temporarily fill up gaps and overhanging structures, which would otherwise collapse.
Removing this support material is a bottle neck in the entire 3D printing process, since it takes up a lot of post-processing time and often needs to be done manually with hand tools, brushed and toothpicks. Support material inside complicated structures is nearly impossible to remove and may cause malfunctioning or affect further post-processing such as material reinforcement or surface treatment.
Ultrasonic cleaning can offer great benefits by being a versatile tool for rapid removal of support material.
As part of this development, we have designed a Cleaning Challenge Device as a benchmark for evaluating the cleaning procedure for 3D printed objects. Read more about it on this page.
For certain applications the final printed object needs to be completely clean of contaminants such as dust and bacteria. For example, medical implants such as patient-specific knees, hips and teeth, need to be completely clean before they can be used. Ultrasonic cleaning can play an important role here.
Contact us if you would like to know more about the possibilities of ultrasonic cleaning for 3D printing!