Frequently Asked Questions

Product & Technology Questions:

PostProcess has created the first platforms that are digitalizing the tribal knowledge of 3D post-processing. Our approach is a software-driven methodology, intelligently driving a mechanical system using chemistry tailored for additive manufacturing materials. No other provider in the world offers an intelligent, software-driven post-processing solution that covers all 3D print technologies.
 
The brains of our system is our AUTOMAT3D® and CONNECTED™ software platforms. Designed after years of benchmarking hundreds of thousands of 3D printed parts across all print technologies, these platforms take the guesswork out of support removal and surface finishing to consistently produce customer-ready parts with pre-programmed finishing recipes.
 
Controlling the system’s energy, speed, and direction, AUTOMAT3D’s Agitation Algorithm ensures efficiency by producing consistent end parts with no breakage. This software varies agitation intensities, temperatures, process time and other process factors to deliver the ideal finished part. Additionally, AUTOMAT3D enables the next level of post-processing operations with features like preventative maintenance schedules and process monitoring and response to increase the customer’s productivity.
 
As an Industry 4.0 solution, CONNECT3D focuses on connecting the digital thread through the entirety of the post-printing solution. CONNECT3D allows PostProcess solutions to leverage the native CAD-file or 3D printer sliced files to automatically define the necessary requirements and algorithms for post-printing. Over time, the software becomes progressively smarter and more efficient, delivering optimal post-printing results.
Don’t worry! Our useful Product Selector helps you find the ideal technology based on print technology, volume, and average part size. The PostProcess product portfolio has been thoughtfully crafted to cover a range of part sizes and print volumes, and many machines can be used to finish multiple 3D print technologies. Just answer the questions to explore a range of PostProcess solutions suited to your additive manufacturing operation.
We have four proprietary, software-driven technology approaches:
TAF - Thermal Atomized Fusillade, utilized in our Hybrid DECI Duo. Two perpendicular single-axis jet streams comprised of compressed air, detergent and suspended solids provide targeted blast sequences while utilizing 360° part rotation for maximum surface exposure.

Thermal - Leveraging heat when necessary to operate in temperature ranges required for optimal Chemical Rate of Removal (cRoR).

Atomized - Balancing and varying both liquid and air pressures to reduce our chemistry to exact particles for precise accuracy while protecting fine feature part detail.

Fusillade - A sequence of controlled jetting, either simultaneously or in rapid succession, to support a variety of geometries and throughput requirements.
SVC - Submersed Vortex Cavitation, utilized in our DEMI Support Removal and Resin Removal family of solutions. A rotating motion helps to dispose of support material while the part is immersed in fluid. This helps provide even exposure to induced mechanical agitation.

Submersed- Part fully immersed and suspended in proprietary PPT detergent.

Vortex - Swirling fluid to create a tumbling effect through strategic pumping scheme.

Cavitation - Formation of vapor bubbles during ultrasonic process creating high-frequency pressure waves to agitate a liquid and break loose from the support material.
VVD - Volumetric Velocity Dispersion, utilized in our Support Removal family of solutions. A series of high volume and flow jet streams spraying bidirectionally, coupled with a perpendicular linear motion for mechanically assisted support removal.

Volume - Detergent is pumped at a rate of 150 GPM.

Velocity - High-speed mRoR to dispose of support material as it weakens.

Dispersion - AUTOMAT3D can control the pressure, spray pattern, and rack travel for targeted agitation.
SRF - Suspended Rotational Force, utilized in our Surface Finish family of solutions. A circulating motion, horizontal or vertical, while immersed in a mixture of composite abrasive and fluid for applying even mechanical force at the surface level.

Suspended - A microscopic layer of detergent creates a film around the media to keep the part suspended.

Rotational - The part cycles during the dwell phase to support uniform contact and friction.

Force - Digitally tuned oscillation controls the amplitude, in turn controlling the G-force applied to the part.
VAD - Variable Acoustic Displacement, utilized in utilized for SLS and MJF gross depowdering (decaking). Software-tuned frequencies identify unique geometries while sound (pressure) waves function as a non-destructive mechanical energy source to de-cake powder. These functions are automatically monitored and adjusted in real-time in a closed-loop solution that repurposes powder.

Variable - Thermodynamic video and infrared monitoring control the decaking process, ensuring the process is scalable, and suitable for a variety of unique SLS and MJF parts.

Acoustic - Sound (pressure) waves do the heavy lifting, removing loose powder precisely and effectively while minimizing safety risks.

Displacement - The intelligent process releases, transfers, and recovers loose powder particles with minimal need for operator intervention. Removed powder can typically be reused, optimizing sustainability efforts.
Our automated support removal and surface finishing solutions are compatible with a number of 3D printing technologies, both plastics and metals. The following printing technologies have been tested by PostProcess and include PolyJet, Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), Digital Light Processing (DLP), MultiJet Fusion (MJF), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Directed Energy Deposition (DED), Electron Beam Melting (EBM) and more. For more data specific to our solutions working on various print technologies, you can explore our White Paper database.

The PostProcess ROI average is 10-30 weeks. We can provide a customized ROI calculation using your customer process data along with benchmark data from our lab. Check out this blog post for a real-life customer ROI example.
This is dependent on the part size and machine size. We offer machines for a variety of throughput requirements, whether it's prototyping or production printing.
Roughness Average is the arithmetic average value of the filtered roughness profile determined from deviations about the center line within the evaluation length.

Rz is the average maximum peak to valley of five consecutive sampling lengths within the measuring length. Since Rz averages the highest peaks and lowest valleys, extremes have a much larger impact than in Ra.
These acronyms stand for Mechanical Rate of Removal and Chemical Rate of Removal. These are examples of data collected to measure support removal and surface finishing efficacy for individual energies of our comprehensive solutions; measured in grams/min and Ra, respectively.
PostProcess systems help solve the breakage challenge that plagues manual solutions and traditional vibratory tumblers. All PostProcess production systems are capable of precision energy management – the amount of motion, heat, and detergent is optimized to the part. This protects the part while creating unparalleled results.
PostProcess’s DECI Duo™ is the world’s most advanced solution for surface finishing of additively manufactured metal parts. Engineered specifically for 3D printing, the combination of our AUTOMAT3D® proprietary software, patent-pending hardware, and specially formulated consumables work as a complete system to address complex materials like metals.

This solution leverages our Thermal Automated Fusillade (TAF) technology, which uses a precise mixture of detergent and suspended solids that are precisely discharged over the surface of the part with an exacting combination of flow, heat, and air pressure. The DECI Duo delivers fast cycle times and replicable, high-quality uniformity, even with complex geometries in metal parts.
The DEMI 4000™ Series is the world’s only automated technology developed for production SLA resin removal. Powered by our proprietary software platform, AUTOMAT3D®, this solution utilizes our patented Submersed Vortex Cavitation (SVC) technology, ensuring consistency and optimizing the rate of resin removal. The solution works in concert with PostProcess’s suite of long-lasting detergents, specialized for applications from standard resins to ceramic-filled resins to high-temp resins. No other solution in the world offers the same performance and versatility for high volume SLA resin removal.

FINISH3D™ Benchmarking Questions:

After a PostProcess representative gathers initial information via email or phone call, the customer will send parts. Upon receipt, PostProcess will complete the benchmark in approximately 7-14 days in our FINISH3D™ lab. When the benchmark is completed, the parts are returned with a comprehensive Performance Evaluation report for each unique  geometry that includes machine operation time, technician attendance time, approximate batch size, and final Ra value.
On average, 7-14 days from receiving the part.

Software Questions:

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 monitors and 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. Learn more with this fun infographic!
CONNECT3D® is our Industry 4.0 software that will allow even further control of the process, which will be especially important in a production atmosphere. Today, in additive manufacturing, data is captured and connected in the design and printing phases. The digital thread for a 3D part is cut off prior to its final finished stage. CONNECT3D links the finishing, or post-printing stage, to the part’s digital thread.
Our proprietary Agitation Algorithm controls the system’s energy, speed, and direction, ensuring your productivity is boosted by producing consistent end parts with no breakage. Our software varies agitation intensities, temperatures, process time and other process factors to deliver the ideal finished part.
No. PostProcess provides a comprehensive solution that is optimized for our machine design and chemistry.
Remote monitoring is already a feature with PostProcess’ production solutions, utilizing TeamViewer, which is installed on all machines equipped with an Industrial PC. We go beyond remote monitoring to enable remote control from laptops or tablets. Cloud integration is an integral part of the overall PostProcess solution strategy, with our CONNECT3D software platform that is under development. The overall strategy is to connect through the cloud allowing systems to leverage learning from the entire network in the recipe development for a given 3D part.

Post-Processing & Additive Manufacturing (AM) Market Questions:

With the forecasted exponential growth of the additive manufacturing industry comes challenges for the market to scale to achieve its full potential (see our Annual Post-Printing Trends Report for more). One of these critical challenges is the bottleneck in post-processing, created as a result of methods that were adopted while the market was in its infancy.

Current post-processing methods are often highly manual with limited throughput, long lead times, and inconsistent quality. Examples include hand sanding and picking as well as manual finishing on conventional machinery, such as a waterjet system. This archaic model is unsustainable as print volumes grow, especially for industries with stringent conformance requirements such as automotive and aerospace. As such, the post-processing bottleneck can cause a company’s printing operations to halt and productivity to suffer while waiting for support removal and surface finishing to produce customer-ready parts.
Our automated surface finishing solutions are designed specifically for additive to produce a level of quality and consistency that is not possible using manual processes, sandblasters, or traditional vibratory tumblers – especially where there is fine feature detail, a key design feature of additive. Utilizing our software-driven surface finish solutions delivers three major benefits: consistency, significant increases in throughput, and enhanced productivity. This means faster processing times with less or no breakage driving better throughput.
While both water jets and traditional tanks often require additional manual labor to fully clean 3D printed parts, our automated support and resin removal options were developed as full-stack solutions, leveraging proprietary software, hardware, and chemistry to automate the process in full. PostProcess solutions also have much lower breakage rates compared to traditional options, as they are built to be conducive to the materials and intricate geometries of additive parts. Overall, our solutions are able to clean multiple parts simultaneously, increasing throughput and shortening cycle times.
We set out from the start to ensure our line of automated Production Series support removal and surface finishing solutions fit into a full production workflow. Our range of solutions work with all 3D print materials and technologies. Driven by intelligent software, our machines require minimal technician time to operate and include both pre-programmed and custom recipes to optimize finishing. Preventative maintenance schedules are also included to minimize downtime. PostProcess’ hardware is thoughtfully engineered within a compact footprint to save space on crowded production floors. We’ve formulated consumables specifically for 3D print materials for ease of use as “ready-to-use” solutions. These are just a few examples of how our systems were designed to integrate into the AM factory of the future.
Markets such as automotive and aerospace that lead the pack in projected AM growth are already disciplined in looking at efficiencies within every step of the supply chain. Automating the post-printing process allows the AM value proposition to be more fully realized and creates an even more compelling case for AM’s place on the manufacturing floor of the future. Redirecting human resources to spend their limited time on more value-added activities is a benefit of automation that everyone who is implementing additive manufacturing, not just automotive and aerospace, is seeking. Mass customization in several additional markets, such as dental and medical, are ramping up significantly and printing tens of millions of parts annually, requiring automation in every step of the additive process to remove production bottlenecks.
At a company level, we regularly implement and work on sustainability goals which we derive from the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. However, we also work hard to ensure every product we develop is even more sustainable than the last. Compared to traditional support removal methods, our software-driven technology improves workflow efficiencies while reducing energy, chemical usage, and the amount of time spent on manual labor. Additionally, many of our detergents utilize constituents that make them much safer than traditional post-printing chemicals.

For more on our sustainability standpoint, you can check out this blog post or download one of our pre-recorded webinars on the topic.

Chemistry Questions:

All PPT detergents are safe to handle when wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and following the recommended handling instructions provided on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
Longevity will depend on print technology, part geometry, and throughput. Our Sales and Application Engineers work closely with our Chemistry Team to advise customers on detergent and media longevity relative to specific applications. Integrated filtration, consisting of a pre-filter for large particulate and a finer cartridge filter to trap smaller material, helps to extend the detergent lifetime. What our customers most value is that because our system is automated with a replicable process, PostProcess:

1. Gives visibility into the total cost of operations
2. Helps them understand their ROI
3. Makes it easier to increase uptime (e.g., “print more”) by taking the guesswork out of the consumable ordering cycles
According to Federal, State, and/or Municipal regulations that apply in your area.
No. PostProcess provides a comprehensive solution that is optimized for our machine design and software.
No. PostProcess provides a comprehensive solution that is optimized for our machine design and software.
Yes, PostProcess has Safety Data Sheets for each of the detergents and media. Please contact us directly with any questions.
For our Support Removal and Surface Finish solutions, we offer our detergents in 5-gallon and 55-gallon containers. Concentrated versions are also available for our spray systems. For our Surface Finishing solutions, we offer our media in plastic containers with molded-in handles for easy unload and storage.

Customer Support Questions:

PostProcess is committed to having our solutions be the easiest for operators to use every day. Our solutions are designed to require minimal daily maintenance, and that small daily investment goes a long way towards preventing downtime.  All our production systems have automated basic maintenance scheduling. This means that technicians spend less time on maintenance and have less pressure to remember maintenance schedules.
Yes. PostProcess is committed to exceptional customer satisfaction. Our new equipment purchase terms incorporate hardware and software coverage, including a hardware warranty of one (1) year from date of shipment, or 2,000 hours of operation, whichever comes first, and software licensing with a subscription to all available software service packs for one (1) year from date of purchase. Additionally, we also offer Extended Warranty (available in three levels), Extended Software Licenses, and Annual Service Contract options.
We are proud to have a rapidly growing base of customers who have transformed their workflows with our solutions, including notable names like The Toro Company, Protolabs, Delta Faucet, Stratasys, and more. Hear what they had to say on our testimonials page, or read over their case studies. ,

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