20 December 2018 10:55
2018 has been a year of growth and maturity for the additive manufacturing industry.   The 3D printing hype of previous years, where consumer 3D printing was predicted to lead to 3D printers in every home, famously gave way to a wave of disillusionment when this turned out not to be the case.   Since then, we’ve seen the industry move away from this hype, transitioning to focus on the value of additive manufacturing as an industrial solution.     While still a relatively small percentage of the $12 trillion manufacturing industry, ...
11 December 2018 16:36
For a long time, post-processing has been referred to as 3D printing’s ‘dirty little secret’. With so much focus on the first two stages of the additive manufacturing process — design and production — the post-processing stage has often gone under the radar.   While additive manufacturing is often lauded for its embrace of digital, automated processes, particularly in the context of Industry 4.0, almost ironically, the post-processing stage remains overwhelmingly manual. This has key implications for a company looking to adopt AM - post-processing is an unavoidable step that will, ...
27 November 2018 11:37
Before and after: 3D-printed parts following post-processing using PostProcess Technologies' automation solutions. Image credit: PostProcess Technologies   [caption id="attachment_6748" align="alignright" width="300"] Jeff Mize, CEO of PostProcess Technologies[/caption] Post-processing is a vital stage of the additive manufacturing process - and yet perhaps the most time-consuming. According to one statistic, current post-processing methods account for between 30-60% of the additive manufacturing process.   One key reason for this bottleneck is that post-processing is still primarily a manual process. One company that aims to transform this is PostProcess Technologies. With its main headquarters in Buffalo, New ...
11 May 2018 15:31
As the first ever 3D printing technology, Stereolithography (SLA) offers a cost-effective way to produce parts with a high degree of accuracy and smooth surface finish using a range of materials.  However, to achieve a truly high-quality finish for your SLA parts, a range of post processing options should be considered. This is especially the case for SLA prints as they require support structures which, when removed, can leave marks or ridges on the surface of your part. In today’s tutorial we’ll explore a range of post-processing options for SLA printed ...
01 May 2018 11:09
Metal 3D printing has made impressive strides in the last few years, with companies increasingly investing in the technology for highly complex, industrial applications. However, alongside the advantages of producing lightweight, sophisticated metal components, there are also a number of challenges that need to be overcome during the metal 3D printing process. Today’s tutorial will explore the main problems faced when 3D printing metals, and how you can solve them.   Metal 3D Printing - An Overview When it comes to metal 3D printing, there are a range of printing processes. These can ...
24 November 2017 16:40
Following the success of formnext last week, AMFG is taking a closer look at some of the innovative companies that showcased at the Frankfurt trade fair. This week, we're speaking with Dr. Konstantin Rybalcenko, Development Manager at Additive Manufacturing Technologies, to talk about the company's revolutionary new technology, his experience at formnext and his thoughts on the future of additive manufacturing.   Post-processing is a critical stage in the additive manufacturing process - and yet, many post-processing techniques remain manual. As a result, post-processing is often a labour-intensive and costly element in the manufacturing ...
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 ...
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 ...