3D Printing, Layered Manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping, Additive Fabrication
In order to achieve the necessary specifications or improve properties such as surface quality, geometrical accuracy and mechanical properties, it is often necessary to post-process and finish components produced with additive manufacturing techniques for materials such as ceramics, metals, and polymers.
The reach of additive manufacturing is rapidly expanding. While its current uses and applications are already diverse, experts across industries agree additive manufacturing is more than a trend. AM has been revolutionary for the industries that use it most, and researchers continue to develop new applications to solve problems across countless other fields of expertise.
Post Processing Finishing Services for Additive Manufacturing
Centrifugal Barrel Finishing
Barrel tumblers work well for jobs requiring heavy burr removal. Centrifugal barrel finishing machines are also good for burnishing, rapid radiusing of edges, and heavy deburring. Removing excess material or polishing additive parts, remove burrs, improve surface appearance, polish and clean are all possible using centrifugal barrel finishing equipment.
In the manufacturing world, deburring refers various methods used to remove burrs, the residual rough edges or protrusions left behind after a part is produced. Burrs can affect the surface quality of additive parts produced where performance, safety, and appearance of a part is concerned.
Deflashing is the process of removing residual rubber, titanium, stainless or plastic material used in the injection molding process. During 3D printing, the deposition of small bits of residual material called “flashing” may appear each part. The particles can be removed using a centrifugal barrel machine for a fast and cost-effective method of removing any residual particles.
Radiusing is a type of deburring which entails the removal or rounding of sharp part edges formed during the additive manufacturing process. Parts with sharp edges can be radiused to pre-defined specifications using centrifugal barrels, vibratory bowls and centrifugal disc machines.
Support Structure Removal
Support materials are structures that are 3D printed along with the actual product to provide support to fragile, thin or overhanging areas. These support materials are temporary and can be removed using mass finishing techniques. Achieving the necessary specifications or improve the overall surface quality, additive manufactured products often need post-process and finishing. There is usual surface roughness left on parts after the support structural material is removed. Most physical characteristics can be enhanced by adding well developed and documented surface finishing processes at the end of the AM process. Depending on a part’s material, geometry, and purpose, our parameters may include vibratory deburring/polishing, centrifugal barrel polishing, ultrasonic cleaning, passivation, anodizing or other coating services.
Read the ISO Blog “Surface Finishing for Additive Manufacturing Industries”
Post Processing Finishing Services
Finishing services are necessary for additive manufactured products that require a smooth surface and/or precise edges.
• Abrasive Blasting
• Support Structure Removal
• Performance Motorsports
Uses of Additive Manufacturing
Ideas flow quickly, but bringing ideas into the physical world takes time. Additive manufacturing shortens the research and development phase by reducing time spent developing prototypes, experimental parts, and ultimately the final product.
Rapid Prototyping (RP)
Rapid prototyping brings a virtual “sketch” into the physical world using computer-aided design (CAD) information. The goal of rapid prototyping is not to generate a fully functional part, but rather it is to analyze the basic elements of a developing idea for feasibility and design. Rapid prototyping and additive complement one another; Rapid prototyping aims to put an idea in the hands of developers quickly and AM provides a fast and cost-efficient manufacturing process.
In the context of manufacturing, tooling fabrication refers to the process of designing and producing tools necessary to produce a different part. Manufacturers must often develop custom tools within a given time frame to maintain efficient production and meet completion deadlines. Additive manufacturing offers affordable, detail-oriented solutions in a matter of hours without finishing. Even for tools that require finishing, turnaround time is still significantly less than that of traditionally manufactured tools. Tooling fabrication assists in shortening the research and development phase because the manufacturing process requires adequate equipment to move forward.
Production of Geometrically Complex Parts
Though it may seem counterintuitive, the additive manufacturing process is simple: material is only added when and where it is necessary. It is this simplicity that makes the development of complex parts easier, cheaper, and more precise with AM.
ISO Finishing Precision Process for Additive Manufacturing
Our process includes several steps to ensure parts and product reliability:
Custom Development Strategy
There is no magic here—it’s precision. We customize each finishing process to fit our clients’ needs from start to finish. At the end of the day, we specialize in you. Our centrifugal barrel services are ideal for parts from 3mm³ to up to 9” x 9” x 28” and are custom tailored for each specific component.
Samples & Quality
We formulate a process for each product and provide our clients with finished samples at no charge. Collaboration with the customer is key. If something needs improvement, we’ll use the client feedback to adjust the process—not the standard. The result is a customized, consistent, and repeatable set of specifications for finishing your unique product.
We continue to add state-of-the-art machinery, media and inspection equipment to adapt to the industry’s latest advances. Our methods have exceeded expectations by providing a better finishing quality and faster turnaround times than are typically possible in-house or as an outsourced operation.