3D PRINTING: THE IMPACT OF POST-PROCESSING, by Todd Grimm, is a recent report commissioned by 3D printer manufacturer Rize.
“The perception and promise of 3D printing are that it offers a digital workflow that is
simple, fast and automated; a process where complexity is free. That perception is
generally correct up to the moment that parts are removed from the 3D printer. As soon
as parts enter the post-processing phase, the automated, push-button process
becomes a manual operation that impacts time, cost and quality.
The uninitiated, those that are new 3D printing users, are often shocked to discover
what is really required to prepare parts for delivery. Longtime users, on the other hand,
tend to accept post-processing as a “necessary evil.” Since all 3D printing technologies
to date require post-processing, the experienced users accommodate the added burden
and make operational adjustments.
Post-processing is a non-valued-added operation that increases overhead and imposes
limits. It complicates the 3D printing workflow, adds expense and extends delivery time.
For the 3D printing lab where operations are centralized and run by a dedicated staff,
this is undesirable. For office-environment operations, it is unacceptable, making it a
technology that is best suited for the lab rather than being a hands-on convenience for
engineers and designers.”
The report includes a post-processing overview, impact – primary and secondary issues, and office operations.
Click here to download the report.