In many respects, laser-sintered plastic components already meet the standards of series production immediately after 3D printing. Nevertheless, due to the additive manufacturing process, their surface is usually slightly sandy and rough, even at the finest print resolution. For concealed functional parts, this surface quality is often sufficient. The situation is different when it comes to design and visual components or moulded parts with high fluid and hygiene requirements. Here, it is important that the finishing of the 3D-printed parts meets the high requirements both visually and technically so that the components can be used in series production without further work steps.
Finishing and post-processing of 3D-printed plastic parts
Post-processing for 3D-printed plastic parts ready for series production
To deliver ready-to-use 3D printing finishes on components ready for series production, we have perfected the finishing of 3D-printed parts. Our targeted development work, qualification of employees and investments in machines enable us to deliver perfect surfaces at series level. In doing so, we work quickly, precisely and economically.
“Perfect surface design is the key to series production.”
After the construction process, 3D-printed plastic parts are first sandblasted. In this process, excess plastic powder is removed from the 3D-printed part and reused.
After pre-treatment, the 3D-printed plastic parts go through
a number of surface finishing and refinement processes. When it comes to finishing 3D-printed parts, our customers can choose from a wide range of mechanical and coating processes to give their laser-sintered plastic parts the desired surface.
We lay the foundation for an optimal surface for our laser-sintered plastic parts in mechanical post-processing. Depending on the desired surface quality, we offer vibratory grinding (trowalising), compaction blasting or machining. Other typical post-processing measures include the installation of standard threaded inserts or bonding individual components into a large final product (only for prototyping). Purchased standard parts can be installed in SLS components on request.
The coating of surfaces makes it possible to achieve a particularly high-quality look, a certain feel or a required robustness. FKM offers various coating options, for example gas-tight and watertight infiltration, coloured infiltration, coloured painting and a paintable finish. A heated painting booth is also available for the application of modern textured and series paints. This booth is large enough to fit a medium-sized car and is therefore also ideal for automotive suppliers.
Homogeneous, smooth and securely sealed: the innovative FKM smooth® process sets new standards for the surface optimisation of laser-sintered plastic parts. The fully automated, thermochemical finishing technology is suitable for all laser-sintered plastics and is perfect for demanding functional components with intricate geometries. At the same time, it does not influence the dimensional accuracy of the components.
“The properties generated with FKM smooth® capture the surface evenly and completely. This also applies to internal structures and areas that are inaccessible when using conventional machining techniques.”
Perfect surfaces for every requirement
With FKM smooth®, the surfaces of components can be given a high-gloss finish, smoothed, levelled, matted and protected. The quality and intensity of these finishes can be defined very precisely in advance. As a result, we are able to optimise the hygienic properties, permeability, food conformity and mechanical strength of the plastic parts as required.
Surface technology for various areas of application
3D-printed plastic parts with surfaces that are ready for series production are important for an increasing number of industries and areas of application, for example the automotive industry, mechanical engineering and the consumer industry. Especially in the case of medical technology, fluid technology and the food industry, the individual adaptation of the look and feel of surfaces offers a wide range of advantages. FKM smooth® technology is a real insider tip for complex parts with the highest demands in terms of surface quality.
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