Stephanie Benoit October 9, 2017

Meet Vivek Chowdary Penumarthi, Application Engineer for Materialise Software in our Malaysia office. He was selected to take part in a three-month exchange program in our Bremen office in Germany, designed to build up skills and expertise. This particular placement is focused on a topic close to the Bremen team’s heart: metal 3D printing solutions! We’ll follow Vivek as he learns about production, process engineering, design engineering, quality engineering and sales and project management.


A Taste of Production

All the wonderful parts produced by Materialise originate in production. It’s an essential part of our services, so it made sense for Vivek to start his placement there. So what did working in production look like?

Every day, Vivek was required to prepare our metal printers for the production of various stainless steel parts. Once each build was completed, Vivek needed to remove the build platform from the machine and use the automatic sieving machine to prepare the remaining powder for the next build. Then the machines needed to be prepared and calibrated for the next batch of parts.

Of course, each batch of prints needed to be post-processed before they could be shipped. Vivek learnt all about removing metal support structures – a process he found trickier than he imagined! He also polished up the surface of each part by hand, and then a second time by blasting them with a mixture of glass beads.

Metal production site in Bremen

Metal production site in Bremen

First Impressions

Vivek loved the seamless integration of our software products, allowing Materialise Streamics to keep an overview of production. This made machine operation very simple. He noted that part orientation and optimal support generation were also crucial in avoiding build crashes.

One tip he shared with us was about keeping in mind the ease of removal of support when generating support structure (discover 5 easy ways to remove support removal). He learnt that it is crucial to check the original design of each part before removing its support structure – without keeping this in mind, it is easy to accidentally lose some of the smaller details when manually removing support. For his final tip, Vivek shares that it is important to be careful not to bend the more slender parts of each print during support removal.

After an educational first few weeks in Production, Vivek is now ready to take on Process Engineering! Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about the rest of Vivek’s experiences in Bremen – including the tips and tricks he picks up.


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