Digitizing 3D Post-Printing – Why the Market Can’t Scale Without It

3D printing software digital finishing3D printing is all about digital, with software-driven systems at every step of the additive manufacturing process…until you get to the finishing step in post-printing. Software isn’t a focus in the traditional manufacturing finishing world today either. Traditional manufacturing finishing machines are typically either completely manual or utilize simple temperature control. In any case, they aren’t able to be worked into an automated process.

Connecting a process stream via software is key to optimizing efficiency in any process. Continuous improvement is dependent on being able to collect data, and logging data automatically drastically reduces the time it takes to analyze enough data to make an informed decision on process changes.

Many traditional manufacturing processes already utilize some type of product lifecycle management software. That same automation will be necessary for industrial 3D printing to scale. Additive manufacturing is already intelligent in the design and build phases… why stop at the post-print phase?

Here at PostProcess, we’re focused on unleashing the market’s potential by opening up the post-print bottleneck with our two software platforms, AUTOMAT3D™ and CONNECT3D™. AUTOMAT3D is our machine control – the brain of the operation. AUTOMAT3D is intended to design an optimal cycle for specific parts, based on part data received and historical data from internal lab testing. It controls all process variables based on selections made by the user such as cycle time, temperature, and agitation level.

What makes AUTOMAT3D special is the variance allowed, which is configurable by the user. It gives you the ability to cast a wide net or focus in on a specific type of part. And with that, our patent-pending hardware and chemistry technology are designed to finish all print technologies…so the possibilities are endless.

CONNECT3D is our software under development that will allow even further control of the process, which will be especially important in a production atmosphere. The idea is to connect the entire process, from design and build to post-printing. With the utilization of the upstream data available from the design file, it will work as a tool to increase the efficiency of AUTOMAT3D.

The success of the scaling of the 3D printing market is dependent on consistency and repeatability. Standards and Q/A come from consistency and repeatability. You can’t come up with standards if you get a different result every time. You can’t get consistency and repeatability with traditional finishing processes that rely on skilled operators.

You need intelligent machines that can be inserted into a process that utilizes manufacturing management software. Good thing we invented all that.

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