22 July 2020 13:26
Companies across almost all industries are adopting polymer 3D printing to drive innovation in product design, development and production.    Today we take a look at 6 examples of recent innovations, made possible thanks to polymer 3D printing, to discover how the technology is changing the game for companies across the automotive, medical and consumer goods sectors.    1. Customising automotive seats    Developing innovative 3D printing applications is nothing new for the automotive industry. One recent example comes from a luxury automaker, Porsche.      Earlier this year, the company introduced a new concept for sports car seating ...
21 August 2017 12:33
In our recent blog post on the development of additive manufacturing for space exploration, we touched on Made in Space’s announcement of a new technology that would allow for 3D printing plastic in space. While the International Space Station has already been making use of an onboard SLS printer, this new approach will actually allow astronauts to print parts in the vacuum of space. This will provide an extra level of flexibility when it comes to conducting repairs on the exterior of the space station. This was something existing technologies ...
16 August 2017 10:23
When it comes to finishing 3D printed parts, there are more options available than ever before. In today’s tutorial, we’ll be looking at a highly effective, hands-free method of achieving a smooth finish for your plastic parts: vapor polishing.   What is vapor polishing? Vapor polishing is a technique for polishing plastics that utilises vapor from solvents to gently melt the surface of a part, causing it to subtly ‘flow’. The printed part is suspended above a chemical bath in an enclosed space, so every area is exposed to the fumes for just ...
26 July 2017 11:10
One of the ongoing challenges with any sort of 3D printing is how designs that exceed printers’ build spaces can be successfully printed. As 3D printing has been successfully utilised, forward-thinking manufacturers and research have begun pushing the limits in terms of what can be printed with the available technology. While this has led to a number of fascinating research projects, such as the ESA’s in-house printing platform, for the vast majority of 3D printing operations, the most practical solution for designs that exceed the available printer capacity is to ...
13 July 2017 14:22
Above: (Left to right) DyeMansion's Powershot C for depowdering, DM60 for colouring, and Powershot S for surface finishing    At AMFG, helping our users develop an efficient post-processing stage is a key part of what we do. That's why we're always interested in any new technology and processes that will streamline and enhance this stage of 3D printing project workflows. Recently, we've been extremely impressed with DyeMansion's new systems for colouring and finishing SLS prints. The Munich-based team offer a range of post-processing services that focus exclusively on powder-based 3D printing technologies, providing ...
07 July 2017 14:09
There’s no doubt that streamlining and automation will be a fundamental part of additive manufacturing’s evolution, particularly as it moves from prototyping to production. Materials and technology are improving at an increasingly rapid pace, but successfully implementing these new tools within manufacturing workflows remains challenging. One constant pain point for many AM specialists is the post-processing stage, and the amount of time and effort it adds to project workflows. For all 3D printing techniques, a certain amount of post-processing will inevitably be necessary to achieve a professional result. This ranges ...
12 June 2017 15:41
Being a powder-based process, any SLS project will be inherently messy, especially during the post-processing, when support materials need to be removed and excess powder extracted before the curing stage. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the cleaning process and make sure it is treated as a key part of your post-processing stage. While this may seem simple, it can in fact prove deceptively difficult if you wish to avoid damaging your finished parts. However, with the right approach to cleaning parts, it is possible to achieve ...
24 May 2017 16:20
With any SLS project, achieving a successful print is only the first step. Once your design has emerged from the printer, it’s time to begin the post-processing stage, to give it a truly professional look. In this week’s tutorial, we’re going to look at the different steps you should consider and how to ensure they deliver the result you’re after.   Removing the leftover powder With any SLS print, you will need to remove the excess powder before any further finishing can take place, which is typically done with a blast of compressed ...
19 May 2017 15:10
While many people still think of plain-coloured plastic when it comes to 3D printing, it is not only possible, but more straightforward than ever before to achieve vivid, full-colour results for both prototypes and production parts. In this week’s tutorial we’ll look at some of the available options for achieving great results with coloured SLS prints. There are a few options for adding colour to your SLS parts during the post-processing stage. The best choice for your part will depend on its intended purpose (i.e. is it intended for demonstration purposes, ...