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POST PROCESS OPTIONS FOR SLS

WHY POST PROCESS SLS PARTS

SLS printed parts’ are strong and exhibit a high level of accuracy. These parts are excellent prototypes but they are most commonly used for end-use-applications. Due to their natural grainy surface; post-processing is beneficial with a range of techniques, finishes after removing excess powder from the surface and cavities.

  • Smooth Surfaces: Mechanical, chemical, and polishing processes can reduce the Ra value of printed parts, resulting in a smoother surface
  • Surface Preparation: Coatings require smooth and consistent surfaces for the best results.
  • Color: Selective Laser Sintered parts have a monotone bright white color. The natural color can be changed using a dye bath or painting. Dye colors are standard, while paint color matches are possible
  • Water or UV Resistance: Painting, Sealants, and Smoothing techniques make part surfaces less porous and increase water and UV resistance.

PROCESS OPTIONS

Tumbling

Mechanical Smoothing through vibratory polishing, involves a large tub of media that gradually wears down the peaks on the rough surface. The process is ideal for large orders requiring smoothing on non-fragile parts.

Process Notes

  • Smoothing is only possible on the surface media can access
  • Multiple parts are processed together, making it an economically viable option for low volume production
  • Sharp edges become rounded, while small features may be damaged
  • Part surfaces are easily coated, painted, or stained after tumbling
  • The resulting surface is close to an eggshell finish

 

Vapor Polishing

A post-process delivers sealed and washable parts with much smoother surfaces than a natural print. This process requires sophisticated software that considers material properties, geometry, and desired surface finish. It ensures reproducible results for complex shapes and internal surfaces. The smoothing material is fully extracted and does not negate any biocompatibility of food contact certificates that may apply to the raw material.

Process Notes

  • Seals parts against ingress and egress of fluids
  • Deeper and more consistent colors if dyed
  • Improved surface finish and smoother complex internal cavities
  • Improved ultimate Tensile Strength, yield stress, and elongation at Break
  • Enhanced cleanability and reduced bacterial growth
  • Part surfaces are more easily coated, painted after polishing

 

DYEING

We have the capability to dye parts in 10 different colors Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, and Brown. The porosity of SLS printed parts makes it possible to change color through an immersion process. It ensures complete coverage of all internal and external surfaces. Typically, the dye only penetrates the part down to a depth of around 0.5 mm, which means any deeper will reveal the original powder color.

Process Notes

  • One color per part unless it is an assembly
  • Results and depth of color may vary between batches depending on the part’s density
  • The parts will have a matt finish
  • The dye process does not affect part dimensions
  • Most cost effective finish for mass production

 

Coating

Anubis offers numerous treatments for SLS 3D printed parts, including aerosol and dip coatings. Coatings are  known to improve the parts performance. We also provide professional painting services and color matching when required.

Process Notes

  • Surface finish options are available before painting
  • Aerosol paint colors in matte, semi gloss and glossy are standard stock no customization available
  • Pantone color match available with professional painting services
  • Lacquer clear coating is available to enhance wear resistanc, surface hardness , water tightness and reduce soiling of the surfaces
  • Lacquer coating in combination with dyeing improves UV protection