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.

  • The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) takes delivery of AM Solutions' M1 Basic - exploring metallic component manufacturing.

    NMIS takes delivery of AM Solutions’ M1 Basic

    The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) operated by the University of Strathclyde, has recently taken delivery of its AM Solutions M1 Basic additive manufacturing post-processing technology – which will be used as part of a research project focused on metal AM. The M1 Basic will be located at one of…

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  • Zortrax has launched the Inkspire 2 resin 3D printing system, Zortrax Cleaning Station, and Curing Station.

    Inkspire 2 resin 3D printing system launched by Zortrax

    Zortrax is launching the Inkspire 2 refined resin 3D printing and post-processing system – consisting of an industrial-grade UV LCD 3D printer, and two post-processing devices – the Zortrax Cleaning Station, and Zortrax Curing Station. The Inkspire 2 is compatible with a wide range of high-grade engineering resins from top…

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  • Melissa Hanson appointed as PostProcess' Chief Marketing Officer. She brings over 17 years of experience in market-driven strategy deployment

    Melissa Hanson appointed as PostProcess’ Chief Marketing Officer

    PostProcess has appointed industry and marketing veteran, Melissa Hanson, to the position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), effective immediately. Hanson is a seasoned executive with deep expertise in spearheading disruptive innovation and leading high-performing teams to deliver exceptional value and transformational growth in the manufacturing and technology sectors. Hanson will…

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  • AddUp and ECM Group partners to offer heat treatment solutions. The program will focus on the post-processing of 3D printed metal parts.

    AddUp and ECM Group partner to offer heat treatment solutions

    AddUp, a major player in the field of metal additive manufacturing, and the ECM Group, the creator of innovative thermal solutions, have signed a partnership to develop high value-added solutions for the heat treatment of 3D printed metal parts. AddUp’s expertise lies in two additive technologies: Powder Bed Fusion (PBF),…

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  • Solid Print3D to distribute AM Solutions’ M1 Basic in the United Kingdom. As AM Solutions focuses on automated post-processing.

    Solid Print3D to distribute AM Solutions’ M1 Basic in the UK

    Solid Print3D will now distribute the M1 Basic post-processing machine, from AM Solutions UK, in the United Kingdom. This marks another important development for AM Solutions as it continues to focus its expertise and experience on the vital role of automated post-processing in the additive manufacturing ecosystem. “We are delighted…

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  • DLyte 100PRO released by GPAINNOVA. One of the largest and most advanced compact machines based on dry electropolishing.

    DLyte 100PRO released by GPAINNOVA

    GPAINNOVA, one of the leading technology groups specializing in surface finishing solutions for metal parts, has released the DLyte 100PRO, one of the largest and most advanced compact machines for industrial applications based on dry electropolishing. This new equipment overcomes some of the current constraints of traditional polishing machines and…

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  • heliguy optomizes drone parts using AM Solutions. Improving functionality and aesthetic with the M1 Basic post-processing machine.

    heliguy optimizes drone parts using AM Solutions

    One of the world’s largest drone companies, heliguy, has recently worked with AM Solutions to optimize various parts of its product range. heliguy has a suite of additive manufacturing equipment in-house and uses AM Solutions’ M1 Basic post-processing machine to enhance the surface of its additively manufactured drone parts –…

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  • Theta Technologies NLA

    Theta Technologies is testing your most complex printed parts with new NDT tech

    UK-based Theta Technologies is an expert in non-destructive testing and specializes particularly in a new type of testing process called nonlinear acoustics (NLA). The technology uses audible and ultrasound frequencies to detect any inconsistencies or defects rapidly and cost-efficiently in 3D printed parts. Presently, the company is preparing to bring…

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  • DyeMansion's Powerfuse S PP achieves industrial-level surface quality. The company also tunes VaporFuse Surfacing technology.

    DyeMansion launches Powerfuse S PP for industrial surface quality

    DyeMansion has made its Powerfuse S post-processing system compatible with Lubrizol’s ESTANE 3D Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) by tuning DyeMansion’s VaporFuse Surfacing technology. Dyemansion has also announced the forthcoming release of the new Powerfuse S Polypropylene (PP). The preparations for the launch of this new solution are already in full swing. Currently,…

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  • 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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