4 Stages of Post-Processing Metal 3D-Printed Parts: A Collaborative Approach
Introduction: When metal is 3D printed, the process always includes post-processing. This means, for example, removing support structures and finishing the surface and features of the printed product. Post-processing is an important part of the production of metal prints, and the time and effort it takes should be taken into account already in the design phase of the prints.
- Heat Treatment
- Heat treatment is the first stage of post-processing. This step ensures that the print retains its shape under varying temperatures and stress conditions. Proper heat treatment not only removes stresses from the piece but also achieves important properties required for each metal’s typical uses. For instance, brittle aluminum becomes more flexible after heat treatment, enabling it to withstand more stress. Stainless steel PH15-5 is usually hardened through tempering, making it suitable for applications that require a stronger material. Dental products made of cobalt chrome must be heat-treated to achieve the necessary properties for dental applications, such as dentures and drill guides used in facial surgery.
Our skilled technicians carefully manage heat treatment processes, such as annealing and hardening, to optimize the printed part’s properties like hardness, stiffness, or flexibility. We understand the importance of heat treatment in achieving the properties declared by material manufacturers, and we ensure that all finished pieces undergo this crucial step. By collaborating with us, you can trust that your 3D-printed parts will be heat-treated to meet the highest standards.
Working Together for Better Results
At our company, we believe that close collaboration with our customers is key to achieving optimal post-processing results. Our experienced professionals work hand in hand with you to identify potential challenges and solutions in advance, ensuring a more efficient and higher-quality post-processing experience.
- Removal of Support Structures
- Support structures are necessary for most metal 3D prints, and their removal is an important stage in post-processing. We take the time to understand the unique requirements of your design and work with you to minimize the number of support structures needed. This reduces the time and effort required in the post-processing phase and helps you receive your finished product more quickly.
- Surface Polishing
- Surface polishing is another crucial step in post-processing metal 3D-printed parts. Our skilled technicians use a combination of machine and hand sanding techniques to achieve smooth surfaces and intricate details. By working closely with you, we can plan the print orientation to minimize visible support marks and ensure the best possible surface quality for your finished product.
- Shot Blasting
- The final stage in post-processing is shot blasting, which creates a uniform matte finish on your 3D-printed part. Our team employs various shot blasting materials and techniques to achieve the desired surface finish for your specific application. Through collaboration, we ensure that your finished product meets or exceeds your expectations in terms of quality and appearance
At our company, we recognize the importance of a collaborative approach to post-processing metal 3D-printed parts. By working closely with our customers and involving them in the decision-making process, we can achieve faster, more efficient, and higher-quality results. When you partner with us, you can trust that we will strive to deliver the best possible outcome for your 3D-printed projects.
The design guide for metal prints contains guidelines for what kind of product needs as little support as possible when printing.