Post-processing

Industrial-grade 3D printing is also ideal for the manufacture of finished products, where post-processing plays a particularly important role. As more and more printed parts are used as end products, their appearance, durability and features, for example, are becoming increasingly important. That’s why it’s worth investing in post-processing.

What should a designer know about post-processing? 🎨

The first and perhaps most important thing to understand is that a raw print is not a finished product. A high-quality, durable part or product that meets exacting standards must be professionally post-processed. Where the design phase is about ensuring that a part or product is in the best possible condition and optimally manufactured, post-treatment, as the name suggests, is about finishing it. If you are considering the need for post-treatment, it is worth thinking about it from the customer’s point of view: what kind of quality and what kind of products do you want to offer your customers? What kind of quality do you want your company to represent? If your goal is to gain a competitive advantage and better customer satisfaction with 3D printing, there’s no need to skimp on post-treatment.

Three reasons to invest in post-treatment for 3D printing

Post-processing techniques for plastic parts

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Dyeing

3D prints are available in 12 main colors and we can also make intermediate colors directly from RAL color codes. The end result is highly wear-resistant and of high quality. In principle, dyeing can be done on all materials, but the widest range of colors are for the following materials: PA2200, P3200GF, PA2241FR, PA2210FR and TPU1301.

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Micro-coating

The coating process gives the finished product full protection, repelling water and dirt, and offering excellent resistance to chemicals and UV radiation. The coated pieces can therefore be used outdoors and wherever where is a possibility of coming into contact with water or other liquids.

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Polishing

Printed plastic parts can be polished to give a finished look. With chemical polishing, the features remain sharper and do not make the part rounder. Mechanical polishing, on the other hand, rounds the sharp
corners, which must be taken into account.

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Automatic cleaning (Powershot C)

Automatic cleaning of plastic parts printed with SLS technology is an advanced grain blasting process. Automation allows faster post-processing for larger batches and thus lower prices for batch products.

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Surface treatment (Powershot S)

The type of granules used and the parameters for the process create a better surface quality for the parts. The process creates friction on the surface of the plastic print, which forms a more homogeneous, flat, hydrophobic and scratch-resistant surface.

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Inserts

We use high quality inserts for plastic prints if the print’s own thread is not sufficient to meet the mechanical requirements of the thread. We recommend using inserts if the thread is less than 5M, there is a lot of opening/turning or the thread is under significant load.

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Painting

Through our professional painting partners, we can implement a wide range of painting processes on our 3D prints with precise color codes, different gloss levels and, for example, create different sparkle surfaces on the part.

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Assembly

We also offer contract-specific configurations for different subassemblies, which simplifies our customers’ supply chains. ​We can model mechanically robust joints on parts, print them in parts and glue them together with unnoticeable seams.

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UV printing

We can integrate texts and symbols into parts using UV printing. ​UV printing is a faster and more cost-effective process than, for example, tampo printing. ​UV printing is possible on flat surfaces with a height variation of less than 5 mm.

Post-processing techniques for metal parts

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Bandsaw

The semi-automatic bandsaw is used to remove parts from the printing plate.

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Ultrasonic cleaning

Printed parts are washed in an ultrasonic bath to remove all loose material from the surface of the parts before packaging.

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Drum polishing

Mechanical drum polishing is suitable for parts less than 100 mm, where the abrasive wheel can reach the surface. However, it is not suitable, for example, for the interior surfaces of ducts.

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Machining

Printed metal parts can be machined to customer requirements. Machining options include milling, turning, drilling and tapping.

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Heat treatments

Parts can be heat treated as required. We offer tension relief annealing for all printing metals, and ageing treatment for aluminum and MS1 tool steel.

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Shot blasting

Almost all printed parts are shot blasted to improve the surface quality. Shot blasting can also be used to influence the appearance of the surface, giving a part a matt or glossy finish, for example.

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