Unlocking Resin Post-Processing: An ROI Story Posted on June 13, 2022June 10, 2022 by Diana Robbins Resin 3D Printing has offered many industries like dental and medical an opportunity to create parts they never thought were possible with other 3D printed materials. Resin provides many advantages over other 3D print technologies, such as a better resolution, faster printing, and stronger printed products. However, with all these advantages, there are also problems when post-processing resin. Our patented solution offers resin printers the opportunity to get back the money they could waste in the last step of their resin workflow. Traditional Resin Post-Processing Traditional resin post-processing has many drawbacks. Workflows can require multiple steps, including soaking parts in multiple tanks, scrubbing or cleaning with brushes, and focused cleaning with squeeze bottles. With traditional methods, manual labor causes increased technician attendance time. These processes also typically use generic solvents not designed for additive manufacturing, such as isopropyl alcohol (IPA) IPA can also create a hazardous work environment for employees because of its highly reactive nature and low flashpoint. These methods do not allow organizations to scale their additive operations because they are time-consuming and offer inconsistent results, not to mention the additional environmental concerns and requirements with using IPA. Using IPA for resin removal can cut into your bottom line and ruin your ROI. PostProcess Resin Removal Solutions We have designed post-processing solutions that help increase your throughput, efficiency, and ultimately your ROI for resin printing. How do we do this? Increased Productivity Our resin removal solutions offer quicker cycle times than the traditional methods detailed above. Our proprietary software promotes consistent and repeatable results, so you won’t have to worry about reprinting. Detergents Designed for Additive Our in-house detergents are formulated specifically for additive manufacturing and offer a higher resin capacity than IPA. With this increase in capacity, the chemistry needs fewer changeouts and has a lower disposal frequency. Your post-processing solution will provide you with higher throughput because of less machine downtime and reduced waste generation. Our PLM-403-SUB detergent, used for our resin removal solutions, complies with ISO 10993 for biocompatibility. This means if you are printing for dental, medical, or audio applications, your prints will be biocompatible after processing. Improved Efficiency Automating the post-processing step of your resin workflow will help you increase the efficiency of your additive workflow. On average, PostProcess resin removal solutions beat traditional processes in both processing time and technician time. After thousands of tests, our solutions take, on average, 10 minutes to clean a batch of resin-printed parts. Compare this to an average of 20 minutes with traditional post-printing methods. Technician time is significantly less, from 10 minutes to 2 minutes on average. ROI Calculations: The Basics Before we delve into real-world ROI calculations, let’s look at the considerations when calculating our ROIs. We look at the client’s current operation, which includes total print costs, and what portion of these costs are for post-processing: labor costs, the time spent processing each part, and the percentage of parts that come out warped or damaged, to name a few. We then compared these numbers to what post-processing costs would look like with implementing a PostProcess solution. The result is an ROI unique to each specific operation. ROI Calculations A client wanted to improve their resin removal post-printing operation. Because of the size and scale of their process, our team suggested the DEMI 430 resin removal solution. They originally used traditional post-processing methods, which required them to submerse parts in multiple IPA baths. Limited capacity and cycle time created a bottleneck in their workflow. Using IPA caused a significant burden for the customer because it required frequent changeouts. Once the PostProcess solution was implemented, our customer saw a decrease in both cycle time and chemistry changeouts, along with an increase in throughput. How it Works: Automated Resin Post-Processing Now that we’ve run through the real-life quantitative results that PostProcess solutions can achieve, let’s explore the technology behind these results and the benefits it offers. At the heart of the DEMI family of resin removal solutions is our patent-pending Submersed Vortex Cavitation technology. Key components in our resin removal technology include: Proprietary Detergents We specifically engineered PostProcess detergents for additive manufacturing. The detergents dissolve soluble support material or uncured resin without compromising the build material. Vortex Pumping Scheme Our solutions use a strategic pumping scheme that creates a proprietary rotating motion of the part while submerged in the detergent. Regardless of density or geometry, the technology will ensure that it uniformly exposes the part to the detergent and cavitation from the ultrasonics. Variable Ultrasonics Our solutions use ultrasonic-generated cavitation as another form of mechanical energy to optimize the chemistry. The ultrasonics emit sound waves at varying frequencies and amplitude, creating waves of compression and expansion in the detergent. This agitation of the liquid causes microscopic bubbles (referred to here as cavitation) to form on the surface of the part. The bubbles agitate support material as the chemistry weakens it, accelerating the processing time. Our post-processing solutions help our customers overcome the bottlenecks and problems associated with traditional post-printing techniques. We do this with our patented hardware, proprietary software, and additive-specific detergents. Combined with our AUTOMAT3D™ software that helps users optimize the exact time, temperature, and agitation. Our resin removal solutions deliver precise, hands-free post-printing for additive manufacturing workflows.