Post-Processing

As additive manufacturing technologies experience greater use for batch, serial and mass part production, post-processing becomes increasingly relevant. Our main focus at 3dpbm is on digital additive part production—a market for which we have coined the acronym DAMP—so the need to produce fully finished parts and the enabling technologies to achieve this via AM have always represented a key area of interest.

One of the biggest hurdles to greater adoption of AM in production was always a tendency to underestimate the impact of cost-effectively post-process large series of prints. On unique, ultra-high-value parts such as prototypes and tools, post-processing is a relatively minor concern. But when it comes to post-process tens, hundreds and even thousands of parts in a few days, the challenges grow exponentially.

Producing fully finished parts presents significant challenges in the polymer AM market and it presents even bigger challenges in metal AM and ceramics AM. So much so that even metal PBF technologies, where part sintering/fusion takes place during the printing process, resulted more time-consuming in terms of their post-processing phase than binder jetting technologies, where debinding, infiltrations and sintering are all carried out as additional post-processes.

The segment for AM post-processes differs for each major technology but can be generally intended as including these main areas: Powder Removal and Sieving systems, Debinding and Sintering systems, Material and Parts Handling systems, Measurement and Inspection systems, Support Removal systems, and Thermal Treatment/UV Curing systems.

Today there is a much greater awareness of the various post processes that are required in all AM technologies, both through operators such as AM Solutions, PostProcess Technologies, AMT, Solukon and D-Lyte (among others) that focus specifically on automating AM and several other companies specializing in automated post-process solutions for injection molding and other traditional technologies now looking more closely at the AM market.

In this month’s AM Focus we will highlight many of these companies and their capabilities. For a full list of companies specializing in the various phases of pre- and post-processing AM solutions, make sure to visit the 3dpbm Index’s dedicated section on Automation and Post Process companies here.

  • Automated wax support removal solution launched by PostProcess. PLM-601-SUB enables wax support removal on intricate and delicate parts.

    Automated wax support removal solution launched by PostProcess

    PostProcess has extended its automated and intelligent additive manufacturing post-process solutions with the addition of a new solution for wax support removal. After extensive development and testing, a new chemistry formulation, PLM-601-SUB, allows wax support removal on the most intricate and delicate build parts. This proven detergent plays a significant…

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  • Nippon Gases' 3DPro gas-focussed product offering. Catering to everything to do with gas in the additive manufacturing process.

    Nippon Gases introduces AM-focused 3DPro gas product line

    Through its 3DPro line of products, Nippon Gases, one of the world’s leading industrial and medical gases companies, now offers gas and equipment specifically for the additive manufacturing industry. Until now, the only major gas company making significant public moves in the additive manufacturing space was Linde. However other major…

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  • A new integrated debinding and sintering furnace from Admatec

    After enlarging the printing build volume of the Admaflex300, the Netherlands-based ceramics AM hardware manufacturer Admatec has introduced a new integrated debinding and sintering furnace, with an enlarged inner volume, increasing the throughput and efficiency in technical ceramic 3D printing and post-processing. Technical ceramics 3D printing is one of the…

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  • OECHSLER, AMT and HP partner to develop PBF production workflow

    OECHSLER, a global polymer technology company with HQ in Ansbach/Middle Franconia, is expanding its service portfolio in the field of additive manufacturing and enlarging its capacities for series production using HP powder-based 3D printing process and AMT for post-processing capabilities. For this purpose, OECHSLER is investing a mid-range single-digit million…

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  • Burloak Technologies receives Nadcap for heat treatment

    Burloak Technologies Inc., the advanced manufacturing and AM division of Samuel, Son & Co., Limited, has been awarded Nadcap accreditation for its in-house heat treatment facility. This accreditation demonstrates that Burloak’s heat treatment capabilities meet or exceed the aerospace industry’s standards. Heat treatment is a specialized process that stabilizes the…

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  • Solukon SFM-AT1000-S depowdering system acquired by Launcher. Used for the postprocessing of additively manufactured rocket parts.

    Solukon SFM-AT1000-S depowdering system acquired by Launcher

    American aerospace company Launcher has chosen Solukon as its preferred supplier for powder removal systems. Within the scope of the partnership, Launcher will utilize Solukon’s machine, the SFM-AT1000-S, for the postprocessing of extraordinarily large and heavy rocket parts. Solukon’s depowdering system offers fast and efficient removal of metal powder for…

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  • Russell AMPro Lite powder recovery station used to improve productivity. The machine halved processing time and reduced operator involvement.

    Russell AMPro Lite powder recovery station used to improve productivity

    Chinese metal AM service provider Tianqi Additive turned to the Russell Finex AMPro Lite powder recovery station as an efficient, innovative solution to the company’s previous powder handling problems. The unit was used for powder reclaim from the printer chamber, in conjunction with two other AM processing machines. Having previously…

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  • PostProcess launches CONNECT3D AM platform

    PostProcess Technologies, the pioneer of automated and intelligent post-printing solutions for industrial 3D printing, today has made known that its CONNECT3D Additive Manufacturing Platform is now available. The CONNECT3D platform is a new addition to the company’s current full-stack solution of hardware, chemistry, and software and complements the current AUTOMAT3D…

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  • Theta Technologies non-linear acoustics

    Non-linear acoustic NDT, a new era for critical AM applications

    As additive manufacturing technologies become increasingly sophisticated and more and more viable for the production of end-use parts for critical applications, new questions and challenges inevitably arise. Once AM processes have been validated, AM companies and adoptive industries must reckon with how to ensure the process is scalable and industry-ready.…

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  • Conflux launches Conflux Quantify proprietary quality control software

    Conflux Quantify, the proprietary quality control software developed by 3D printed heat exchanger specialist Conflux, is tailored to leverage the company’s unique heat exchanger geometries and manufacturing capabilities. Key benefits include improved quality control, lighter/thinner/higher performance HXs due to improved development capabilities and more cost-effective HXs due to the reduced…

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