No one particularly enjoys post-processing after 3D printing a part, but there are technologies that make it easier, and that’s the specialty of English company Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT). Last year the company introduced its PostPro3D technology, which automatically smooths elastomeric and nylon 3D printed parts. AMT describes the technology as the “unlocking step” for 3D printing, eliminating costly, time-consuming manual post-processing measures. Over the past 18 months the company has worked with several development partners in industries including footwear, medical, automotive and aerospace to test PostPro3D, and the process has been tested on parts produced by all major 3D printers.
Every part finished with PostPro3D has been thoroughly tested for the requirements of the end use application. The technology has now been officially commercially launched, and is being incorporated into the digital workflows of AMT’s development partners for high volume manufacturing. The process has been UL and CE approved, and parts can be certified for medical use if required. The system will cost about €75,000 subject to customer requirements. It can be ordered now, with a delivery date estimated for the fourth quarter of 2018.
PostPro3D technology is based on AMT’s BLAST (Boundary Layer Automated Smoothing Technology) and works on all types of filament- and powder-based 3D printing methods. It uses a proprietary consumable blend, and the process, consumables and hardware have all undergone rigorous testing. The process can be adapted to different 3D printing materials. For example, AMT has worked with HP to develop specific processing for Nylon Multi Jet Fusion parts. The total processing time is between 90 and 120 minutes and the largest part that can be processed is 600 x 400 x 400 mm.
AMT has also announced the launch of what it is calling “PostPro3D as a service,” based out of the company’s Sheffield, England facilities. Customers are offered 24-hour-turnaround service for automated depowdering and smoothing of parts. Pricing is based on part volume.
“After 18 months of development and testing we are delighted to announce the launch of PostPro3D,” said Joseph Crabtree, AMT CEO. “Our machine makes part surface finishing cost and speed competitive for high volume production – we welcome an opportunity to show customers the cost savings of adopting our technology. In addition to unveiling PostPro3D we are announcing the opening of a part processing service in our Sheffield facilities. This will offer potential customers to try the technology before they buy, or if they have a lower volume of parts to process.”
AMT will be demonstrating the PostPro3D technology at formnext, which is taking place from November 13th to 16th in Frankfurt, Germany. The company will also be speaking at the 3D Printing Post-Processing Conference and AM Integrated Factory Conference, which are taking place concurrently on December 4th in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands.
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