While powder bed technology eliminates the need for support structure design and removal, it is not without its post-processing challenges. A stubborn final layer of powder remains after bulk removal, often with a gritty surface finish. Today’s methods to address these challenges include manual water picks, brushes, and traditional machinery such as bead blasting and tumblers. These methods are labor-intensive, increasing the risk of damaging fragile geometries, wearing down fine feature details, and producing inconsistent final parts. Surface finishing of MJF and SLS parts is often achieved with hand sanding and semi-automated manufacturing equipment never designed with additive manufacturing in mind. These approaches are not practical to fully leverage a powder bed printer’s capabilities and scale to larger production volumes.
PostProcess’ solutions address today’s post-print bottleneck in MJF and SLS Powder Removal and Surface Finishing with an automated and intelligent approach. Our comprehensive solution of software, hardware, and chemistry delivers repeatable results with a push of a button and is designed to keep up with the versatility of additive manufacturing.
Our AUTOMAT3D™ platform provides an unprecedented level of insight and control. With customizable agitation settings, you can alter the process specific to your desired results and adjust for different materials and geometries effortlessly. Process monitoring keeps you up to date with key maintenance measures and smart cycle times, allowing you to plan ahead and minimize downtime.
PostProcess’ Suspended Rotational Force (SRF) and Thermal Atomized Fusillade (TAF) technologies each provide a different approach to automated the powder removal and surface finishing steps for MJF and SLS. Proprietary hardware designs are driven by our software platform to free up skilled labor to further scale the operation.
Designed specifically for additive materials, abrasive and polishing media are available in different density and grit. Our proprietary detergents are explicitly formulated by our chemists to optimize the mechanical, abrasive energy that is provided by the media and ensure consistency throughout the batch.
Press and play software automation frees up operator attended time and provides repeatable results on multiple parts simultaneously. Save recipes in the software to recall settings for common parts, further reducing touch time.
Automated process times can take as little as 2 minutes or up to 20 minutes depending on the powder volume, fixture type, and the number of parts per batch. Software, hardware, and chemistry work together to increased Rate of Removal (RoR) for the final layer of powder.
Complex geometries get full attention for powder removal and surface finishing utilizing a slurry reduced to fine particles to address small cavities. Software control over key process parameters such as pressure ensures consistent finishing for both robust and fragile parts alike.
READ our latest SLS Powder Removal Case Study
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