A Guide to Post-Processing Tools in 3D Printing Services

Designs for 3D printing Malaysia is one of the most intriguing new technologies in recent years. It blends design and engineering into a process with boundless creative possibilities. Several Malaysian firms use 3D printing services to prototype their ideas before they are manufactured or to have the final pieces created.

What you may not realise is that your trusted 3D printing firm can do more to make your prototypes better and more precise than ever before through post-processing, which is a vital element of 3D printing. This is the last step in which the thing is completed and ready to be tested or used. Continue reading to discover more about the phases of post-processing and the instruments used.

1. Cleaning 3D printed products

For starters, if your components were 3D printed using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), support structures would have been employed where there are overhanging elements. When the print process is finished, the soluble or insoluble support material must be removed before the part is suitable for use. This may be done manually or by immersing it in an ecologically friendly cleaning chemical and water to dissolve it.

Nevertheless, because Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing or HP Multijet Fusion (MJF) is a powder bed additive manufacturing technique, the completed object must be cleaned of superfluous powder. This can also be done by hand at a cleaning station using compressed air or media blasters. Any remaining powder will be filtered to remove it from the pieces and recycled, resulting in little material waste throughout the SLS or MJF 3D printing process.

The items will be removed from the build platform first in the case of Stereolithography or SLA 3D printing. They will then be rinsed and soaked in isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solvents to dissolve the liquid resin. Before post-curing, parts must be dried with an air cannon attached to an air compressor.

2. Fixing

Little holes or cracks will be manually fixed during post-processing if they exist. The 3D printing business may use fillers or hardeners to operate on certain locations. A thorough filling job can also reduce the amount of time spent on sanding when it comes to the surface finishing stage in post-processing.

As some designs may be too large to print as one piece, separate 3D printed parts can also be attached together through gluing and welding.

3. Curing

Curing using UV light is essential for increasing the strength and stability of your components and maximising the mechanical qualities of your product. SLA 3D printed objects may be further toughened under the right post-cure conditions to attain the full strength required of your product. But, if your 3D printing firm is not cautious, it is possible to over-cure, resulting in brittle pieces. The skills of an experienced 3D printing company in Malaysia may make a difference at this critical step, especially if your items are cured under a high-powered UV curing system.

4. Surface finishing

When the preceding procedures have been finished, surface finishing will be used to improve the look of your parts. Sandpaper is the most often used post-processing tool here. It might assist to erase minor surface defects and smooth off any rough edges left over after layering your prototype model. There are several more surface finishing tools available, and it is essential to conduct additional study to locate the finest products for your needs.

Vapour smoothing or vapour sealing is also used during post-processing to produce parts that are watertight, smoother, and stronger, and Expert3D is proud to be the first to offer the chemical Vapour Smoothing process to all of our customers in Malaysia and Southeast Asia through our sister company Additive3D Asia.

5. Colouring

Lastly, to acquire the appropriate colour and effects, 3D printed objects will be manually sprayed. Sanding, priming application, and ultimately spray painting a few coats of colour codes using the proper procedures to obtain a faultless final surface finishing from glossy to matte. With the new PolyJet 3D printing technology, it is now possible to accomplish Vivid, Opaque, Pantone, and Voxel Color printing. This new technology is now accessible and within the respective industry’s grasp, but it needed a large upfront capital investment in equipment as well as a significant material and annual maintenance cost.

Get the Right Team on the Job

Post-processing is an important stage in 3D printing. Though it may appear to be a minor element, post-production may make or break your final result. Finally, the amount of quality you desire for your final product will be determined by the skills of your trusted 3D printing firm.

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