Post-processing is an important part of 3D printing. It contains removal of the supportive elements, external parts of the material or the powder. In general, this process involves everything regarding the product after being printed. These can be special techniques or methods of how to treat and enhance the devices after printing. However, for the present moment such procedures are not automated enough, even if the potential for that is high.
According to Beamer.com, there are basically 5 steps of 3D printing post-processing. These are device cleaning, fixing, curing, finishing of the surface or colouring the product and the point is to optimize them as much as possible. Automating such processes would be a good solution in that case though.
Automation of the 3D printing post-processing challenge
The automated techniques can combine the software, hardware and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions. Connecting the possibilities offered by all of them, the human intervention in the process can be minimized.
There are already some companies, which are trying to make the whole process more efficient and streamlined by creating the systems which can automatically perform processes such as smoothing the surface or the device or covering it in the colour.
However, this also involves considering the materials that are being used in layers of the device. The completely automated procedure cannot be simply performed on all of the products in the same way. Such a limitation needs to be considered in order to not to generalize the process and adjust it as much as possible to the type of the device, which is being printed.
Advantage of 3D printing automated post-processing
The benefits connected with automating the processes can be huge. Mainly it would enable to save a vast amount of time and lower human errors. Manually reducing some of the parts can be not only time-consuming, prone to the mistake and expensive, but also the steps cannot be monitored.
Implementing the technology, which is automatically removing, smoothing or reducing the surface, can also be useful while controlling every step of the process. This can ensure consistency, transparency and high quality of the product at the end
Generally speaking, an automated workflow of the process can keep the end-to-end, post-processing procedures, instantly controlled without any labor. Digitizing the following process is the future way of providing the 3D printed products in the best form, time and cost possible and accelerate the whole post-processing.
Do you think automation of the post-processing is the right move? Share with us your opinion in the comment below!