Additive Manufacturing: What Does Post-processing Entail?

Additive Manufacturing: What Does Post-processing Entail?

Post-processing is an essential aspect of the additive manufacturing process that is sometimes disregarded. The aesthetic of 3D printed objects is becoming progressively crucial as the 3d printing sector transitions from prototype to end component production aimed at customer industries. This is where 3D printed part post-processing kicks in. So, what exactly is 3D printing post-processing?

Post-production processing is generally required for parts produced with 3D printing technology. Post-processing is a crucial part of the additive manufacturing procedure. In additive manufacturing processes, post-processing alludes to any procedure or activity that must be conducted on a printed item, as well as any method used to improve the piece further.

Consider it a final step in the treatment and refinement of 3D-printed items. Removal of support or redundant material, washing and curing, sanding or polishing a design, and finally, painting or coloring are all choices for post-processing 3D printed parts.

Post-processing Expenses for 3D Printed Components

Post-production can be expensive, mainly when done manually. Post-processing by hand is time-consuming and inefficient. In large-scale production, it will become untenable as well.

Post-processing can cost approximately a third of producing a 3D-printed model. Fortunately, thanks to the current advent of multiple post-processing methods, the job of finishing 3D printed items may now be automated, lowering prices.

To simplify the procedure, many businesses are creating post-processing gear. A few of these businesses specialize in post-processing machines. Others are 3D printer vendors who include post-processing devices in their printing setups.

Why Do 3D Printed Parts Necessitate Post-processing?

3D printed things can be treated after printing for functional and aesthetic reasons. While rough prototypes may not require post-polishing, nearly every other printing does.

Functional Reasons

  • Sintering and debinding are two techniques that can turn brittle and weak metal particles into strong ones.
  • Water or UV resistance Smoothing methods on part surfaces minimize pore size and increase water and UV tolerance.
  • Precision techniques like CNC machining can tighten tolerances for crucial parts.
  • Techniques such as annealing can increase a printed object’s heat tolerance and mechanical dependability.
  • Polishing can improve the smoothness of components that need to make the least amount of touch with other features.

The Benefits of Aesthetics

  • Smoothing out printed objects using surface finishing procedures can improve their look.
  • Parts that have been smoothed and polished feel gentler to the touch, which may be desired in ergonomic consumer products.
  • Post-processing allows a producer to control and decide the luster of the 3d printed part
  • Sanding can disguise a part’s machine of origin and remove layer lines, ideal for models of parts that will undergo injection molding later on.
  • Due to dyeing and painting, parts can be manufactured in various colors.

Final Thoughts

As a result, post-processing is becoming a more critical aspect of the additive manufacturing process. The procedure is getting more automated as special post-processing devices are invented, allowing it to be more accessible than before.

You can employ unique post-processing services, but progressively, print firms are giving post-processing services to their clients, allowing them to get everything done in one place.