Achieving Aerospace Quality Surface Finishing for 3D Printed Metal with Software Automation

3D printed metal surface finishThis week’s blog post is a timely fit for the many 3D printed metal announcements coming out of the IMTS show in Chicago, such as HP’s unveiling of its MetalJet technology. Today we released our most recent Case Study that demonstrates excellent surface finish standards and replicable results to an exacting requirement for complex metal parts with the automated Hybrid DECI Duo.

This story discusses the transformative outcome with additive manufactured titanium and nickel alloy shrouded impellers for Ingersoll Rand. After parts arrived off the printer with an Ra (roughness average) value that did not meet their specifications, Ingersoll utilized multiple traditional 3D post-printing methods that fell short of their tight tolerance requirements for aerodynamic testing and exacting surface finish needs for aerodynamic performance.

After teaming with PostProcess and utilizing the DECI Duo solution, Ingersoll has obtained consistent, repeatable Ra results for the 3D printed shrouded impellers as proven through benchmark testing. The software-driven, hands-free DECI Duo delivered parts that consistently passed aerodynamic testing with flying colors, with an average of 70-80% reduction in Ra for parts run for 20 minutes or less. While its high quality and consistency requirements led Ingersoll to PostProcess, the ease of operations and cost savings are seen as significant additional advantages.

“We have chosen the DECI Duo because of its repeatability, minimal setup, processing times, and cost of ownership. Photochemical machining, extrude honing, and micro polishing or micro machining all yield very good results when applied correctly, however extensive tooling and equipment costs, setup times, and required DOE’s prior to applying the surface finishing method to obtain a repeatable process have made the DECI Duo a better option.

In addition, some of aforementioned finishing techniques unevenly remove material inside the flow path of the impeller, whereas the PostProcess DECI Duo uniformly treats the entire surface of the flow path. The final geometry of the flow path must remain as unaltered as possible after post-processing of any kind.”

Ioannis Hatziprokopiou
Mechanical Engineer
New Product Development
Ingersoll Rand Compression Technologies & Services

As the market continues to innovate in the 3D printed metals space, more exacting surface finishing results and faster volume throughout will be required. Our Hybrid DECI Duo is up to the challenge and ready to meet the market’s need.

To learn more, download the full case study.

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