Resin Removal Round-Up: Exploring Customer Stories for Automating the Post-Printing Step

Photopolymer 3D printing is one of the oldest and most popular additive manufacturing technologies, though traditional methods for the post-print resin removal step are some of the most cumbersome in all of AM.

Fortunately, automated resin removal solutions built on innovative technology approaches are now replacing archaic resin removal methods for SLA, DLP and CLIP printed parts, and bringing automation to post-printing.

The most salient way to understand the benefits of how an intelligent approach can deliver transformative benefits is to explore how this trusted technology has already enabled different additive operations:

  • Splitvision – A Swedish production development company employing additive
  • Print Parts – A 3D printing service bureau in Manhattan, NY
  • Empire Group – A Massachusetts – based rapid prototyping and industrial design group

Check out the synopses below and read the stories in full in our Case Studies Library.

Primary Pain Point – Integrity of Fine Feature Details

Though they’ve been operational for more than three decades, Swedish industrial design agency Splitvision is relatively new to additive manufacturing, having just recently acquired a Figure 4® Modular vat photopolymer printer. Before dipping their toe into additive, Splitvision typically made their prototypes from polyurethane (PU) foams or solid plastic materials, and often had to outsource when it came time to develop more intricate pieces.

Though the Figure 4 printer allowed Splitvision to develop more intricate builds in-house, the time it took them to manually clean resin off of fine feature detail parts drove up unit costs. They were also troubled by the strong smell of IPA, and its flammability risk. These issues drove them to incorporate an automated PostProcess solution into their additive workflow. In addition to enjoying a safer working environment, they’re able to be more efficient, as the resin removal cycle time never exceeds 10 minutes, and upholds the integrity of fine details. Learn more about the benefits of this new approach with a safer and more sustainable technology in this Application Note.

Print Parts
Primary Pain Point – Throughput

When Print Parts was contracted by New York State to rapidly develop 1 million nasal swabs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, they found themselves expanding their lab with 10 new Digital Light Processing (DLP) printers. To meet their production goal of 250,000 swabs per week, cleaning swabs in multiple IPA baths with just two technicians working at a time wasn’t going to cut it.

Print Parts realized they needed to process multiple batches simultaneously, and that the PostProcess™ DEMI 800™ was the only solution that would let them do it. Thanks to the effectiveness of the ultrasonics and proprietary chemistries, resin could be removed from the swabs in as quickly as 90 seconds, compared to 12 minutes in IPA.

By switching gears to emergency supply production, Print Parts was able to realize the continuous benefits of the SVC technology and automated resin removal capabilities. The service bureau was in the midst of a scale-up, so enabling throughput has remained invaluable to the growing company.

Empire Group
Primary Pain Point – Integrity of Fine Feature Details

As experts in rapid prototyping for more than 20 years, Empire Group was an early adopter of stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing. While Empire Group underwent rapid scaling with the addition of several new printers, they feared that the time spent to manually finish the escalating number of printed parts would slow down their workflow.

Instead of letting post-printing times get the best of them, Empire Group utilized the PostProcess DEMI 800 to reduce their SLA resin removal times by as much as 50%. Plus, thanks to the impressive longevity of the PostProcess detergent used in the DEMI 800, Empire Group wastes less time on chemical changeouts, too.

Want to learn more? Check out a recent article in Additive Manufacturing Media exploring how this technology achieves heightened safety and sustainability for resin removal.

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