Turn Raw 3D Printed Parts into High-Value Products
Rapid 3D supply and service Additive Manufacturing finishing systems for 3D-printed polymer and metal parts.
Post-processing of 3D printed parts is often the unspoken ‘Elephant-in-the-Room’
Parts manufactured with 3D printing technologies often require some degree of post-production work. This post-processing in 3D printing refers to any cleaning, surfacing, assembly, or finishing steps that need to be completed on a printed part. Typical post-processing steps undertaken on 3D printed parts include removing supports or excess material, washing and curing, sanding, polishing, painting, or colouring.
When considering adding 3D printing to your manufacturing operations, it’s important to look at the post-processing requirements. Depending on the technology you choose, there are a number of post-processing and finishing tasks required. If you have not considered these, it’s possible that some of the productivity gains you get from 3D printing parts are lost in the post-processing.
Post-processing can be costly, especially when it is done by hand. Manual post-processing is labour intensive and is not scalable. The cost of post-processing can amount to almost one-third of the production cost of a 3D printed model. According to the 2018 Wohler’s report, 27% of the total costs of 3D printed parts can be attributed to post-processing related costs. Automated and efficient post-processing can be an effective way to reduce these costs and the processing time to the next step.
As an example, with Laser Powder Bed Fusion based 3D printers, such as SLS & DMLS, the powder bed supports the structure of the parts being built, so support structure removal is not a primary concern, as it is for FFF & FDM 3D printer work-flows. 3D printer material selection is also an important factor when considering your finishing options. An example would be electroplating. Only a few materials, like ABS, can be electroplated successfully.
When you work with Rapid 3D to specify a 3D printer for a manufacturing process, we don’t stop there. We work with you to determine the post-processing requirements and options.
Post-processing Equipment for SLS based Serial 3D Production Workflows
Rapid 3D has partnered with DYEMANSION to provide a full ‘Print-to-Product’ post-processing work-flow solution.
Using the DyeMansion Powershot C, up to 75% of an EOS P396 or full HP Jet Fusion 4200/5200 job can be cleaned in only ten minutes.
Time needed for cleaning and personnel costs can be reduced in a significant way and therefore improve the efficiency.
A configurable timer allows constant batch processing and parts can be processed much faster.
POLYSHOT SURFACING | PSS
Automated mechanical PolyShot Surfacing (PSS) is the most efficient process on the market, achieving the best end-use part finish.
It does not remove any material and works perfectly for hard plastics like PA12 or PA11 across all geometries.
With a cycle time of only 10 minutes and a capacity of a mid sized build job per run, the Powershot S works very cost-effectively. Using automated PolyShot Surfacing, instead of time-consuming abrasive methods like tumbling, increases your productivity and part quality significantly.
VAPORFUSE SURFACING | VFS
VaporFuse Surfacing (VFS) delivers sealed and washable parts with injection moulding equivalent surfaces.
This process ensures consistent reproduction processing of complex geometries and internal surfaces.
VFS works for all common plastics and particularly for flexible polymers such as TPU, for which mechanical techniques are not suitable.
DEEPDYE COLORING | DDC
For a long time, dyeing 3D-printed plastics was a manual, uncontrollable process. Almost every 3D-printed end-use product is exposed to UV light and heat. This is where the strengths and weaknesses of the dyeing process becomes apparent.
DeepDye colouring is a highly reproducible dyeing solution. Using DyeMansion technology, you are able to colour your 3D-printed raw parts in almost any colour of choice and turn them into high-value, colorful products.
Compare the Automated Post-processing Results
PolyShot + DeepDye
Move the slider to compare
VAPORFUSE + DEEPDYE
Move the slider to compare
What are you going to Create?
3D ‘Print-to-Product’ work-flows open up a whole range of opportunities for designers and manufacturers.
Jewellery manufacturers have been using 3D printing in their work-flows for decades. What industry requires individualism more than jewellery? There-in lie your opportunities.
Complexity & LIGHT-WEIGHTING
Producing the complex geometry in the shoe pictured, is infeasible using traditional manufacturing. The lightweight, yet strong, shoe sole heel was 3D printed, the powder removed & cleaned, the surface smoothed and then coloured using automated post-processing.
Fully Assembled parts
Functional integration is a unique advantage of 3D printed parts. Combine multiple, ‘fully-assembled’ parts into a single part during the design phase and reduce the steps in your work-flows. What, ‘fully-assembled’ design idea do you have?