Additive Manufacturing Post Processing Challenges
The development of industrial 3D printing and additive manufacturing has meant new demands on post processing. AM production can lead to expensive and time consuming reworking of parts. 3D printed parts often require deburring, grinding and/ or polishing in post processing. This blog details how to finish additive manufactured parts and additive manufacturing post processing requirements. We also explain how to achieve the finish required, in the most consistent, time effective way.
Moleroda Finishing Systems have a range of products and tools to help finish even the most challenging industrial 3d printed parts. We also have the expertise to be able to advise on you on what would work for the finish you require. We can advise you on how to remove support structure or powder residue. If you are asking yourself the following questions, then we can definitely help:
How do I remove the support structures quickly and easily without damaging the mould?
What is the quickest and most effective way of achieving my desired surface?
Can I eliminate powder residue and level surface roughness?
During post processing of additive manufactured parts, chips, dust and powder are released. These can be harmful to the users health and safety, There is also a fire risk when finishing 3d printed parts. The ENESKApostpro has been designed specifically for these challenges. This exceptional machine is made up of a sealed work chamber, equipped with all the tools you will require for postprocessing. Moreover, the chamber of the ENESKApostpro can hold large or small parts or even several parts at the same time. Not only is the inside of the post processing unit easily accessible, with an integrated compressed air pistol, above all it can be adapted to the users needs.
- Protects user from fire hazards
- All dust and powder sealed away and removed from user
- Can be used for all materials
- Wide variety of operations can be implemented at one station
- Complete extraction of resulting fine dusts
- System can be adapted to users needs
- Sealed work chamber
- Dimmable leds
- Holds several parts at one time
- Easily accessible
- Integrated compressed airpistol
- Lock during use and change of heights
- Special cleaning process through air shower
Post Processing Tools
Finishing additive manufactured parts, will mean you require a tool with enough power and precision to tackle the most challenging surfaces. Therefore, selection of the correct drive, plays a crucial role in processing the widest range of materials.
ENESKAmicro is a great basis for optimum surface results. It is ideal in the case of materials such as titanium, stainless steel or nickel-based alloys, because you can achieve a high working speed with an equally high and constant torque. Fluctuating speeds are otherwise negatively transferred to the surface to be processed.
The ENESKAmicro motor system combines high motor outputs with highly ergonomic handpieces. This allows for great results on the most diverse applications in additive manufacturing. In conclusion, the ENESKAmicro provides the best basis for covering everything ranging from removal of the support structure to finishing.
Removing Support Structures
One of the first stages in post processing an additive manufactured component is to remove the support structures. Finishing additive manufactured parts properly, means these will need to be removed quickly and effectively. In other words, accurate work using precise tools, right from the outset, saves time during postprocessing.
The strengths and processing possibilities of plastics are widely different. Plastics and rubber are ideal to use on plastic additive manufactured parts as 3d printed plastic parts need to be post-processed in a cool way, so that the plastic does not over heat. This allows for blending and removal of burrs and powder. Above all, AM production relies on a consistent finish and using plastic on plastics can help you achieve this.
Metals and non-ferrous
Materials that are difficult to machine after being created through 3d printing/ laser sintering are best processed using diamond tools. Super-hard diamond cutting material is excellently suited for short-chipping materials. The tremendous hardness has many advantages, e.g. long service life as well as geometric and dimensional stability. Therefore, using diamond tools, allows processing of the hardest materials such as Inconel and Titanium. Take a look at our video showing how to polish 3d laser printed titanium.
20 Piece Diamond Point Set – 2.35mm (3/32″) Shank£24.95 incl VAT Add to basket
30 Piece Diamond Point Set – 3mm Shank – Mixed Head£27.63 incl VAT Add to basket
Diamond Points on 1.6mm – FG Series£2.35 – £7.84 incl VAT Select options
Diamond Wheels / Cut-Off Discs£6.49 – £10.12 incl VAT Select options
Coarse Surface Finishing
As with any activity, preparatory work needs to be carried out prior to surface finishing. This is especially true on additive manufactured parts. The more precise this is, the less effort is required for rough work and finishing. Moreover, when machining hard materials, tools with long service lives and maximum cutting performance are required on 3d printed parts.
What happens when the support structures have been removed on industrial 3d printed parts but the workpiece needs to be given a better surface? There are many possibilities here. Two alternatives worth recommending are grinding and blasting. Grinding is a metal-cutting production process for precise and final machining of workpieces. Blasting is a surface finishing method in which blasting shot is projected at high speed on to the workpieces. The blasting result essentially depends on the type of blasting shot selected, in addition to various machine types and configuration parameters. Take a look at our video of the Table Top Micro Shot Blasting Microjet.
Polishing and Finishing
Finishing involves the final processing stages to improve the surface of your additive manufactured parts – either for technical or purely aesthetic purposes. Depending on the material, tool and processing technique, surface results ranging from linear to mirror polishing can be achieved. The first steps towards a shine are accomplished by using grinding files.
If the surface of your 3d printed parts is to be polished to a shine, polishing felts are used in combination with diamond compounds. Gradually better and increasingly brilliant AM surfaces results can be obtained by step-by-step use of the compounds from coarse to fine. In conclusion, getting the perfect finish in the fastest time on your 3d printed parts is attainable, you simply need the right products and the right guidance. Moleroda is here to help.
Abrasive Diamond Coated Strip files£2.39 incl VAT Select options
Diamond Compound 20g Syringe£27.15 – £60.55 incl VAT Select options
Diamond Needle Files£10.67 – £13.37 incl VAT Select options
RODA Felt – Mounted Conical & Bullnose Felts for Polishing£8.57 – £46.10 incl VAT Select options
RODA Felt – Mounted Felt Bobs for Polishing£8.57 – £41.73 incl VAT Select options