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Recoaters are components of powder bed fusion technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) in 3D printers. While the build platform is being printed, the recoater’s primary function is to apply a consistent, even layer of powdered material.
Recoaters typically consist of blades or rollers that rotate horizontally across the build chamber, distributing powdered materials from powder reservoirs or supply bins. After each layer of the 3D object is printed, the build platform is lowered, and a new layer of powder is spread over it. This process continues until the entire object is printed.
In SLS, SLM, and EBM technologies, the recoater plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and consistency of the printed parts. It is important to maintain the correct layer thickness and uniformity when recoatering, which impacts the final part’s mechanical properties, dimensional accuracy, and surface finish.
Recoaters must be kept clean and free of debris or buildup to ensure optimal print quality. Adjust or replace the recoater mechanism on a regular basis to ensure consistent layer thickness and prevent damage or wear.