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Makers Guide | Five post-processing ways in 3D printing

Post-processing is a frequently neglected part of the 3D printing process. As the additive manufacturing market relocates from prototyping to end part production tailored to customer markets, the look and feel of 3D published items is coming to be increasingly more vital. That is where post-processing 3D published components is available in.

What is post-processing in 3D printing?
Components produced with 3D printing innovations normally call for some level of post-production therapy. This important action of the 3D printing process is referred to as post-processing. In other words, post-processing in 3D printing describes any type of procedure or task that requires to be performed on a printed part, or any type of technique used to even more improve the things. Think of it as a completing touch to deal with and also fine-tune parts that appear of a 3D printer. The options for post-processing 3D printed parts include eliminating assistance or excess product, washing and healing, sanding or brightening a version to paint or colouring.

And, what are the different post-processing strategies offered? We can recognize 5 steps in post-processing, although not all actions are needed for all projects:
1.    Cleaning up
2.    Fixing
3.    Curing or solidifying
4.    Surface ending up
5.    Colouring

Also, be cautious that the post-processing technique can differ depending upon the printing process utilized to produce the model.

1. Cleaning
a. Removing support product( FDM as well as Material Jetting)
When publishing designs with overhang on FDM or other product jetting modern technologies, support frameworks that hold up the looming attributes are needed. These support frameworks can be printed utilizing the same material as the one with which the design itself is published. But when the machine permits printing with several products, unique assistance material can be made use of. Nevertheless, whenever an assistance framework is required, there will be some post-processing included.

b. Powder elimination (SLS and also Powder Bed Fusion)
Models published using powder bed fusion (SLS, etc) are produced using plastic or metal powders. Deposits of powder can cling to or stay in the model, as an example in holes or more complicated inner networks inside the version.

c. Washing (SLA and Photopolymerisation)
Components that are printed with SLA or various other photopolymerisation can be conveniently cleaned after printing.
2. Fixing
In some cases little repairs are required to load small openings or fractures or even to affix together parts that have actually been printed individually.

a. Filling
When fillers as well as hardeners are used to fix undesirable openings or fractures in the printed things.
b. Glueing and also welding
Utilized when separately published parts need to be attached together. ABS prints can be welded or glued together making use of acetone.

3. Curing
Just like french fries, cooking the imitate they have been published enhances the mechanical properties (crunchiness in case of the french fries) of the product. Formlabs and also Carbon have actually included treating utilizing UV light to their printing process (SLA as well as CLIP respectively, both Photopolymerisation processes). After the design has actually been printed unique curing devices warm the model to bring the component to its optimum mechanical homes. Curing therefore differs from the various other post handling alternatives, that it boosts not just the aesthetic features, yet the physical top quality of the design.

4. Surface Finishing
After the cleaning, cleaning, removing assistance or excess material as well as healing, various processes are readily available to make the design look nicer aesthetically. This is specifically relevant when the models are tailored in the direction of customer markets.

a. Sanding
Layer lines or touch-points where support structure was connected to the design can be removed by meticulously fining sand the surface area of the model, utilizing sanding paper with differing grit: from low to high for finishing. Apart from being labour extensive, hand-operated sanding can develop irregular results. With automated polishing, this can be stayed clear of. Layer lines are especially noticeable on 3D versions created utilizing layering strategies (like FDM).
b. Vapour or Chemical Smoothing
Often chemicals are utilized to smoothen the model surface. The vapours respond with the outer layer of the object. The layer lines are melt away, leaving a smooth external layer while giving the model a shiny look. For versions published with PLA and ABDOMINAL the acetone is commonly made use of, or the chemical representative Tetrahydrofuran (THF). The issue with this technique is that is can not be regulated: small attributes can be melted off that should stay. Also, the vapours can be dangerous when breathed in. This can be stayed clear of making use of closed chemical cleansing makers.

5. Colouring
In some cases, 3D models can be printed using coloured product and also with multi-material printing (multi-) coloured prints can be made. But one can likewise opt for colouring during the post-processing stage. Parts that need colouring would preferably be printed using white material. Before the version is repainted a layer of guide is generally used. Paint can be done manually utilizing a brush or spray. There are makers that automate spraying of parts.