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 ...
10 August 2017 14:42
We’ve looked at a lot of different aspects of the finishing process for 3D-printed parts over the past few months, from cleaning away waste material and removing supports to achieving a smooth finish and adding specialist finishes, such as metal plating. With such a wide range of options available, a tremendous range of looks and mechanical qualities can now be achieved for both prototypes and production parts. But how do you actually put all this into practice? The reality is that time and resources are a precious commodity, and a number ...
10 August 2017 10:00
Helping additive manufacturing specialists develop more effective, more efficient post-processing stages is a huge priority for the team at RP Platform. We’re always looking for new ways of finishing 3D printed parts that will not only deliver exceptional results, but -- equally importantly -- how they could potentially be be deployed in a production capacity. For example, one new post-processing technique that caught our eye recently was Formnext engineer Christian Reed’s new technique for using wax crayons to add a touch of colour to his plastic prototype. Christian’s technique involves ...
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 ...
23 June 2017 10:53
With any FDM print, the finishing stage is what will take your end result from just ‘good’ to truly professional, whether it’s an attractive display piece or a durable, functional part. Here are a few practical tips to make your finishing process both efficient and effective:   Remove any support structures first Any FDM print requires support structures to avoid drooping or deformation, so these will need to be removed before any other post-processing can take place. We’ve already looked at support structures in detail on the blog, so refer back to that ...
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 ...