The Trabecula Bench: Unpacking

When the bucket has cooled, it’s time to assemble the pieces. Ahmadou Kaloga, an EOS applications support technician, usually does the unpacking. “It’s like an archeological dig,” says Kyttänen. “A dinosaur in a pile of sand.”
freedom of creation trabecula bench component extracted
Once the machines have done their part, EOS technicians carefully remove the components of Trabecula from the build bucket. The precise application of laser-energy by the machines means that the un-sintered powder can be used in a future project.

After carefully removing the pieces and brushing off excess dust, Kaloga gives them a light sandblasting with glass beads. Florian Pfefferkorn, a polymer-sintering product manager at EOS who helps Kyttänen develop rapid-manufacturing objects, explains that this is necessary “to get rid of the loose powder that sticks to their surfaces.” The pieces are then assembled, their interlocking joints reinforced with cyanacrolate, a.k.a. Super Glue. A pneumatic spray gun coats the Trabecula in paint that Kyttänen insists, withholding specifics, is just for looks. “It’s nothing special, but I can’t tell you what it is.” Secrecy aside, he rejoices that rapid manufacturing is growing more popular as its efficiency, aesthetics, and cost savings become clear. “We want people to understand what we’re doing,” he says. “At this stage, the more competition, the better.”

freedom of creation trabecula bench sandblasting
At EOS, Ahmadou Kaloga sandblasts a finished section of a Trabecula bench. This is to ensure that any polyamide powder that is stuck to the bench's surface is removed prior to final assembly and painting.

freedom of creation trabecula bench parts glueing
Thirty-six hours after the sintering machines began, the finished sections of Trabecula bench are ready for assembly. The final product is much larger than the build envelope of the Selective Laser Sintering machines at EOS; Trabecula is composed of several segments, which are super-glued together using interlocking pin joints.

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