In the 3D system, before printing, powder must be lifted from the powder supply located inside
the Build Unit up to the powder feeding area. To perform this lifting function, a system of two
Archimedes screws enclosed in aluminum extruded tubes rotates to transport the powder up to the
With the introduction of new materials and the option of switching from one to another, it is
important to guarantee that the system is clean from the previous material before loading the new
one to ensure quality and that the printed parts will have the expected mechanical properties.
The inner surface of the tubes that enclose the Archimedes screws are always coated with powder
that gets stacked during transportation, so this surface represents a critical area to be cleaned to
avoid material mixing.
Currently the process used to clean is to use brush, and manually insert it in the tubes after
removing the Archimedes screws. By moving it up and down while rotating it, the tube is supposed
to be cleaned.
This disclosure is to present a system that would automatically clean the powder inside the tubes
when material swap is required. This system would increase cleaning process robustness and
reliability as well as reduce machine down-time since no human intervention would be required.
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INC, HP, "ARCHIMEDES AUTO CLEANING SYSTEM", Technical Disclosure Commons, (July 15, 2019)