China Top 3D Print Finishing Post-processing Solution Provider and Manufacturer
  • Titanium 3D Printed Parts Smoothing and Polishing
  • 316 Stainless Steel Additive Manufacturing Parts Polishing
  • PLA Plastic 3D Printed Parts Smoothing and Tumbling
  • Ceramic 3D Printed Parts Smoothing Without Cracking
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Inovatec MachineryWe Have the Perfect Solution for 3D Printing Smooth Surface Finish

The required processing method will be determined after analyzing the 3D printing method, product material, and required finishing. It’s very important to take all the factors into consideration before jumping into the process.

The most common factors include the need for removing powder and support structure, surface condition, and polishing requirement. Some of the complex factors are the material of the product, the type, print method, etc.

3d printed parts surface finishing high energy surface finishing

It doesn’t matter if your product is made of plastic or metal, Invoatec has the right equipment to perform the processing. Consider us your perfect 3D processing partner. We not only have a huge inventory of necessary equipment to process 3D printer parts but also provide all the media and other accessories.


3D Printing Post-processing Automation for the Win

Your Surface, Our Job 
The finish done by adaptive manufacturing is undoubtedly the best in class. The whole enigma with 3D printing is based on precision. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and it’s repeatable. You don’t have to waste material or labor in order to process any parts.

The solutions from Inovatec are designed to fit both individual and bulk needs. The systems are completely automated. It saves a lot of time and money without any compromise in product quality.

Finishing 3D Printed Parts Is New Reality 
3D printing has proved itself to be a viable method for bulk productions. There was a time when the 3D printer itself was a prototype product and was only used for making prototypes. But with the constant development of technology over the years, it’s now possible to go for production in large volumes.

It’s not like you can throw any 3D printer in your factory and get good results. It requires experience and technical know-how. Otherwise, you’ll end up with unfinished products that will cost you even more to finish.

1. VA series centrifugal disc finishing machine

Centrifugal disc finishing machine is high-energy surface finishing equipment. It is ideal for fast processing of media and small-sized metal and plastic 3D printed parts.

1. VBSB series vibratory deburring machine 1 1

Suitable for plastic 3D printed parts and ceramic 3D printed parts surface smoothing. It does gentle surface finishing without a change in parts’ surface geometry.

Centrifugal barrel finishing machine for metal polishing

Fast aggressive deburring for stainless steel 316, Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy. It effectively reduces the rough grinding time in the first stage.

Single barrel polishing finisher machine

Rotary barrel tumblers can do dry finishing of metal and plastic parts without material removal.

2. TVBA tub ball burnishing machine

Tub vibratory finishing machine is suitable to process big-sized parts with complex surface geometry. You can also process medium and smaller parts in the chamber.

TDG 4 Drag Finishing Machine polishing machine

Drag finishing machine is ideal for high-valued component, for example, a titanium turbine blade. In addition, drag finisher can do a dry finishing process which adds a glossy effect on parts’ surface.

Material of Different Additive Manufacturing Parts

For Post-processing 3D Plastic PETG material, we use a high-energy centrifugal barrel finishing machine to improve parts’ surface smoothness.

For ABS Plastic – FDM parts, we use a water blasting process to improve the surface finishing.

For Plastic SLA Resin, we use a vibratory polishing machine to improve the surface of the parts.

For Plastic – SLA VeroClear 3D Printed Bolt, we use a high-energy centrifugal finishing machine to improve the surface finishing.

For 3D Plastic Pipe Fitting, we use a vapor blasting process to improve the parts finishing.

For 3D Printed Plastic Plumbing Component, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to finish the parts.

For 3D Printing Post-processing Medical Implants, we use chemicals to remove the base materials.

For 3D Printing Post-processing Plastic – SLS parts, we use a high-energy centrifugal barrel finishing machine to finish the parts.

For PA2200 Plastic SLS Additive Manufactured Eyeglasses, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to make the surface smooth.

For Automotive 3D Printing Post-processing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to improve parts surface.

For Automotive Intake Manifold- FCA removing of build material, we use a rotary tumbler machine to improve parts’ surface.

For Automotive parts, we use an industrial rotary tumbler machine to remove the base material.

For Butterfly Valve Coating, we use a vibratory polishing machine to get a shiny finish.

For plastic coating, we use a high-energy centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For plastic coating, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

To improve the surface for functionality, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to get better parts’ surface.

For FDM Post-processing Adjustable Wrench Prototype, we use a vibratory finishing machine to improve parts’ surface.

For Plastic Bracket FDM Post-processing, we use a high-energy centrifugal disc finishing machine to improve the surface.

For Plastic Support FDM Post-processing, we use a high-energy centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For FDM Post-processing Wrench, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

To improve surface finish for functionality, dye, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to get a shiny surface.

For HP Post-processing Medical – Consumer Pill Box, we use rotary barrel tumbling equipment to smooth the parts.

For PLA Post-processing Plastic Money Clip, we use a rotary barrel tumbler machine to finish the parts.

For PLA Post-processing Vacuum Tube, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to finish the parts.

We use a high-energy centrifugal disc finishing machine to polish the coating.

For Plastic Post-processing Prototype Grippers, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to get a smoother surface.

To polish 3D Plastic Prototype part, we use a vibratory finishing machine to get a better surface.

For Post-processing Polishing 3D Printed Consumer Art, we use a vibratory finishing machine to smooth the surface.

For Post-processing 3D Plastic Printed Chess Piece, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For Post-processing ASA AM Plastics, we use a rotary barrel tumbling machine for polishing.

For Post-processing 3D Plastic 3D Printed Consumer Item, we use a high-energy centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For Post-processing of 3D Printed Parts Plastic Housing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to improve parts’ surface.

For SLA Post-processing Cover – Coffee Maker, we use a high-energy mass finishing machine to get better surface finishing.

FOr Dental Parts SLA Post-processing, we use a high-energy centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For Plastic Panel SLA Post-processing, we use a high-energy surface finishing machine.

For SLS Post-processing Cell Phone Cover, we use a rotary barrel tumbler drum machine to get the expected finish.

For SLS Plastic Post-processing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For surface smoothing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine

For SLS Post-processing Hand Sculpture, we use a centrifugal disc finisher machine to achieve this finishing.

For surface finishing & polishing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine to achieve this function.

For 3D Printed Art surface finishing, we use a vibratory finishing machine to get the smoother surface.

We use a vapor blasting process for plastic surface finishing.

For 3D Metal Part Finishing Aerospace – Engine Blade, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For DMLS Stainless Steel 3D Post Processing Jewelry, we use a centrifugal barrel machine.

For Additive Manufactured Consumer Product Post-processing, we use a centrifugal barrel machine.

For Aerospace Part Ultrapolish, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For AMCC Test Coupon3D Prototyping Finishing, we use a centrifugal disc finisher.

For 3D Part Smoothing, Explore EOS DMLS machine, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For Mass Finishing 3D Parts 3D Promotional Bottle Opener, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For Metal Finish 3D Parts Finishing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For Aerospace Performance Finishing, we use a vapor blasting process.

For AM Aerospace Parts Post-processing 3D Metal, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For Post-processing 3D Metal, we use a centrifugal barrel machine to achieve a smooth surface.

For Post-processing Performance Enhancement AM Automotive Gear finishing, we use a centrifugal barrel machine.

For Post-processing Polish 3D Printed Art, we use a vibratory finishing machine.

For Post-processing Polish 3D Printed Art, we use a vibratory finishing machine.

For Titanium TiAL4V Post-processing 3D Part Finishing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For EBM Electron Beam Melting Metal 4140 Additive Manufacturing Coupon 3D Post-processing, we use a centrifugal barrel machine.

For 3D AM Aerospace Parts Post-processing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For Postproecssing 3D AM Aerospace Parts, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For Post-processing DMLS Parts, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For Stainless Steel Medical Stethoscope surface finishing and polishing, we use a vibratory finishing machine.

For 3D Metal Printing Industry Surface Finishing Test Coupon, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

We use waterjet blasting for surface improvement of mesh.

For 3D AM Test Coupon Post-processing, we use a centrifugal barrel finishing machine.

For Post-processing 3D Printed Art, we use a vibratory finishing machine.

FOr 3D Metal Part Finishing 3D Artwork, we use a high-energy centrifugal barrel machine.

For 3D Metal Part Finishing Internal Passages of Automotive Turbo wheel, we use a vapor blasting process.

FOr Jewelry, 3D Printed Parts Post-processing, we use a centrifugal disc finishing machine.

For Performance Finishing Aerospace parts, we use a vapor blasting process.

3D Metal Part polishing 3D Artwork surface finishing.

Mass Finishing Media

Starting from polishing media, we have a huge collection of grinding media, mass finishing media, and shot blast media. Apart from the media, we have the necessary machines like vibratory tumblers, centrifugal disc finishers, rotary tumblers, and so on. Our incredible collection along with our 20 years of expertise makes us the perfect choice for processing all kinds of 3D printer parts.

Inovatec Machinery – China Leading Additive Manufacturing Parts Post-processing Solution Provider & Manufacturer
  • Less processing time resulting in high efficiency
  • Automated processing ensures maximum cost-effectiveness
  • Better surface finish results in better performance by the parts
  • Low-cost production means more business ventures and infinite possibilities
  • 3D printing has enabled unlimited possibilities for innovating products
Frequently Asked Question
What is the MOQ for your surface finishing machine?

Our AM post-processing equipment MOQ is 1 pcs.

How do you make the packaging?

We make packaging with fermentation wooden box. The packaging is easy to ship with a forklift.

What is your payment term?

We accept 30% payment in advance to confirm the order and balance payment before shipment. We also do LC at sight with your requirement for bulk orders. If it’s your first order, we can transact through PayPal. We also cater West Union.

How long do you need to prepare the product?

Our production time is 20-25 days depending on the product that you order. If you have an urgent order requirement, we will also try our best to catch your schedule.

What is the nearest port?

Our nearest ports are Shanghai, Ningbo and Yiwu. We can ship to the address that you provide as well.

3D Post Finishing Equipment

Inovatec is a manufacturer of vibratory finishing equipment and also a supplier of all kinds of consumables used in mass finishing.

3D printed parts, also called additive manufacturing parts, are parts manufactured using 3D printing technology.

It is an emerging application with increasing demand.

With over 30 years’ experience, we have rich knowledge of handling the most complex parts with the most suitable methods.

You can save tens of thousands of dollars each year

3d printed plastic parts tumble finishing before and after

Inovatec offered a selective post-finishing machinery solution specifically for your project budget plan.

We help you to select the right vibratory polishing machine and high energy tumbler machine that will help you get the required finishing on your 3D parts, especially for the special surface geometry and production requirement. 

We help you to choose the right mass finishing machinery to get the optimal result at a lower cost. 


3D printed parts deburring smoothing


3D Printed Parts Tumbling Media

Inovatec also offers comprehensive Tumbling media and Chemicals.

We help you to select the right processing solution to choose the most suitable techniques for additive manufacturing material to meet the high requirement.

Media for surface finishing and tumbling mass finishing includes ceramic media for fast deburring, porcelain media and zirconia media for surface shinning and polishing, and plastic media edge rounding and surface smoothing. 

additive manufacturing product post processing

You can see below some parts’ demonstration of 3D printed metal components that we that made with.

We use various machinery and selective media and chemical to achieve the optimal result for the customer.   

You will find the comparison of various different plastic parts made by a 3D printer with different plastic materials.

The process is done with the Inovatec processing technique and the result shows before and after finishing

Inovatec offers various surface finishing possibilities of metal alloy including aluminum, brass, bronze stainless steel, etc.

We have rich experience and good technical know-how to make improve 3D printed parts surface finishing. 

Mass Finishing Technical Consulting

Inovatec offers you services that include subjecting your goods to a deburring and polishing process to show you the surface finishing that can be attained through our expertise, processes, equipment, and tumbling media.


Testing room

Due to services requiring varying amounts of time, we will offer you cost estimation before the purchase of equipment.

You are required to provide a sample of the desired result and another sample that we can use to perform the finishing.

In every work to be done, we will offer a cost estimation firsthand.


3D Post Finishing Free Sample Finishing!

Take advantage of our free sample processing offer by filling out the form below:

We are proud of our 20 years’ experience in the surface mass finishing industry, for materials with specific requirements and properties like material, surface geometry, etc.

We will offer a cost-effective solution that meets your budget plan. 


Free sample process service


Inovatec supplies complete processing techniques to many high demanding industries.

We will offer you up-to-date technical solutions to improve productivity and save operational costs.

Our goal is to get the best finishing result with good cost-saving. 

Inovatec is the pioneer for 3D post-process solution providers for 3D printed parts. We offer a wide range of possibilities for surface finishing of 3D printed parts including plastic and metal components.

You will find all related surface finishing that we offer including surface deburring, polishing, cleaning, and drying.

Please kindly contact us, so we can reach you as soon as possible.


How to Improve Surface Finish in 3D Printing? – Definitive Guide

3D printers have become pretty mainstream these days. A lot of businesses use 3D printed products.

But there is a post-processing phase for every 3D printer part.

How do you tackle it? Well, you don’t. You let Inovatec do it. We have a close partnership with 3D printing services.

Whether the parts require material removal, powder removal, support structure removal, polishing, deburring, and so on, Inovatec has the proper technology to do all these tasks.

We have the capability to analyze the necessity of post-processing very early, preferably in the design phase.

We can also modify existing products according to your needs as well.

If you’re looking forward to increasing your efficiency from both task handling and supply chain aspects, Inovatec can be the perfect companion for you.

With our partnership with 3D printing services, we can work as your main source of processing power.


1. What is the application area of 3D printed parts post-processing?

Whether you are thinking of batch productions or individual lines of products, there is no better solution than 3D printed and processed parts.

3D printing is done with help from computer software to precisely design the parts.

The implantation of computer-generated design has eliminated the need for machining, polishing, and smoothing.

The parts come out in their best shape. No matter what the geometry is, additive manufacturing can tackle any production challenge.

The ultimate goal of the system is to create efficient and cost-effective solutions for all industries.


Lightweight Components and Different Industries

The concept of ‘production on demand’ has been made real by the implementation of 3D printing.

The lightweight component industry has highly benefited from the process.

The auto parts require less material to manufacture and there is no need for any tooling.

It has resulted in a better gas economy and low emissions which are great for our environment.

The design is done in an intelligent way to reduce weight and increase efficiency.

Contact Inovatec to get your share of the benefits of 3D printer products.

High-tech lightweight components for the aerospace industry


3D Printing and Medical Equipment

Medical equipment is one of the most important fields when it comes to the machining industry.

Medical equipment is very delicate and requires a high level of precision.

Especially parts like dental crowns, bridges, prosthetics, implants, and other equipment and parts.

In all of the aforementioned cases, 3D printed parts can be a lifesaver.

3D parts are flexible, open design, and most importantly; there is no machining needed. Inovatec offers all the necessary equipment and media in manufacturing precision medical equipment.

Our systems allow you to quickly manufacture and polish the necessary parts at the highest precision possible.

3D printing for medical engineering post processing


Ultimate Processing for Autoparts

Autoparts manufacturers are facing the biggest challenge now.

They have to ensure mobility and that too in an environment-friendly way.

They have to save resources while getting the most out of their parts.

Additive manufacturing post-processing is the perfect answer to these problems.

The parts manufacturers don’t require any machining whatsoever. The designs come out smoothly.

These parts are very lightweight and highly efficient which is not possible to achieve in a conventional manner.

The manufacturers now save tons of money on resources and labor costs.

The parts produced can cover the area of body parts as well. As a result, the entire weight of the units is getting reduced without compromising the quality and rigidity. What’s better than more functionality at a lower cost?

Apart from bulk manufacturing, Inovatec also offers individualized productions.

It covers both the driver and passenger compartment accessories, in a very lightweight manner.

We have the necessary cooling solutions for electric cars as well.

automotive industry 3d prined parts


The Die and Tool Industry

Manufacturing injection molding dies and aluminum die-casting is a very complex and lengthy process.

It costs a lot of money as well. But when you consider 3D printing for these products, a door with infinite possibilities open up.

3D printing has a greater impact on the productivity, lifespan, and cost-effectiveness of the product lineup.

3D printing is much preferred because the manufacturing process becomes a lot more precise and fast.

All of the designs are generated on a computer so there is no chance for an error.

If an error occurs for some reason, the software will detect it and fix it before it goes to printing.

The die and tool industry 3d printed parts


You can print all kinds of complex and intricate shapes without any warping and damage to the surface.

The cooling procedure of the products occurs in the proximity of the heat source.

This allows the parts to cool much faster and proceed to the next phase, which is post-processing.

2. What is 3D printing?

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process based on the simple idea of converting a digital model into a solid object in three dimensions.

Over the years, various 3D printing technologies have developed in the industry with the common go of creating a physical model layer by layer.

To create an object, a 3D printer deposits material on the print bed by following a 3D model, often in STL format.

The most common printing material is molten plastic (PLA or ABS in general) used as consumable in the form of a filament spool by 3D printers with molten filament deposition (called FFF for Fused Filament Deposition or FDM for Fused Deposition Modeling).

3. What is Mask stereolithography (SGC)?

Mask stereolithography (SGC) is an additive manufacturing method that is largely similar to digital LED projection (DLP) printing technology.

The technology was developed and marketed by the Israeli company Cubital Ltd in 1986.

Cubital ended, but intellectual property rights were retained by Objet Geometries Ltd, and in 2012 it was transferred to Stratasys as a result of the mergin of the two companies.

In this regard, the version of SGC technology used on printers from the competing company 3D Systems is known as Film Transfer Imaging or FTI.


4. How does Mask stereolithography work?

The technology is based on the application of thin layers of photopolymer resin followed by irradiation of the material with ultraviolet light.

Irradiation occurs according to the physical photomask or “mask” of the corresponding contour.

Irradiation leads to the polymerization (solidification) of the material, after which excess material is removed from the working area, and the cavities are filled with low-melting wax.

If necessary, a mechanical surface treatment is performed, after which the production cycle is repeated.

Upon completion of the model, the wax is melted, leaving a finished model that does not require additional irradiation in an ultraviolet furnace for complete polymerization.


5. Which materials are best when using Mask stereolithography for 3D printing?

Photopolymer resins are often used as consumables.

However, the selection of a suitable material may require some attention due to the technological features of production – if necessary, machining the polymer must have the appropriate characteristics.

As a rule, photopolymers are used since they are similar to ABS plastic in strength and viscosity.


6. What are the advantages of Mask stereolithography?

  • The main advantage of SGC is the absence of the need to build supporting structures, as is the case with stereolithographic methods such as SLA or DLP.
  • In addition to high horizontal resolution, the mechanical treatment of each applied layer allows achieving high accuracy along the Z-axis.
  • Finally, the technology is characterized by rather high productivity due to the simultaneous irradiation of entire layers.


7. What are the disadvantages of Mask stereolithography?

  • Among the shortcomings, it should be noted a fairly high noise and a large amount of waste, which increases the cost of printing.
  • The installations themselves are quite expensive due to the complexity of the design.
  • Recently, the SGC method is almost not used, and its FTI variation has become almost indistinguishable from digital LED printing (DLP) due to the introduction of digital projectors.


8. What is Multi-Jet Modeling Technology (MJM)

Multi-jet modeling technology (MJM) is a proprietary additive manufacturing method patented by 3D systems. The technology is used in the proJet line of professional printers.


9. How does Multi-Jet Modeling Technology work?

MJM technology enables high-precision prototyping with a high level of detail.

It combines the features of 3D printing techniques such as three-dimensional inkjet printing (3DP), fused deposition modeling (FDM / FFF), and stereolithography (SLA).

The layers are built using a special printhead equipped with an array of nozzles.

The number of nozzles in existing printer models varies from 96 to 448. Printing is done with thermoplastics, waxes, and photopolymer resins.

In the first two cases, the materials are hardened by gradual cooling.

In the case of printing with photopolymers, each deposited layer is treated with an ultraviolet emitter for polymerization (hardening).


10. What materials are best for Multi-Jet Modeling Technology?

Early models of MJM printers used ordinary thermoplastics.

The development and improvement of photopolymer materials have led to the gradual replacement of thermoplastics with photopolymer resins and waxes.

ProJet printers use VisiJet’s range of materials, which include waxes and photopolymer resins with various mechanical properties.

So, VisiJet DentCast is used as a casting wax in dentistry, VisiJet X serves as an alternative to the popular ABS plastic, VisiJet Crystal is used to create high-precision foundry master models, etc.


11. Where is Multi-Jet Modeling 3D printing used?

MJM technology is used in various industries that require the creation of high-precision prototypes and finished products.

Among the applications include dentistry, jewelry, industrial and architectural design, the development of electronic components, etc.


12. What are the benefits of using Multi-Jet 3D printing?

  • MJM allows you to create supports for overhanging elements of models from relatively fusible wax. In the case of using auxiliary wax structures, at the end of printing, the finished model is placed in a furnace (built-in or separate) and heated to a temperature of about 60 ° C to melt the wax.
  • The technology allows achieving extremely high accuracy indicators comparable to laser stereolithography (SLA) – the minimum thickness of the applied layer can be 16 microns, and the print resolution in the horizontal plane reaches 750x750x1600 DPI.


13. What is Color Inkjet Printing (CJP)?

Color inkjet printing (CJP) is a type of inkjet three-dimensional printing (3DP), proprietary technology of 3D Systems.


14. How does Color Inkjet Printing (CJP) work?

As is the case with three-dimensional inkjet printing (3DP), CJP technology involves the application of thin layers of powdered supplies, followed by selective application of a binder polymer.

A distinctive feature of the technology is the use of multi-colored binding elements, which allows you to create complex color 3D-models.

Unspent materials are not removed from the working chamber during the process but serve as a support for subsequent layers, which allows you to create objects of high geometric complexity.

However, upon completion of the printing cycle, the residual powder can be collected and reused.


15. Which materials are used for Color Inkjet Printing (CJP)?

Consumables use plastics with a variety of mechanical properties that mimic rubber, impact-resistant thermoplastics, and other materials.

For example, 3D Systems CJP printers use VisiJet PXL materials impregnated with ColorBond (for hardening color models), StrengthMax (high-strength impregnation for functional models), or Salt Water Cure (environmentally friendly impregnation, which increases the strength of surface layers).


16. Where is Color Inkjet Printing (CJP) used?

Color inkjet printing (CJP) technology is mainly used to prototype products of complex geometric shapes and colors, as well as for the production of small batches of finished products.

The method is used in medicine, industrial design, education, architectural design, and even in puppet animation.

Due to the relatively high cost of CJP printers, this technology has not yet received widespread domestic distribution and is mainly used in a professional environment.

At the same time, CJP technology is much more affordable than using high-precision rapid prototyping methods such as laser selective sintering (SLS), and more versatile in creating color models than laser stereolithography (SLA).


17.What is Selective Laser Melting (SLM)?

Selective laser melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing method that uses high-power lasers (usually ytterbium fiber lasers) to create three-dimensional physical objects by melting metal powders.

The official term for describing the technology is “laser sintering”, although it is somewhat not true, since consumables are not sintered, but completely melted until a homogeneous mass is formed.

Alternatively, the process may be referred to as direct laser metal sintering (DMLS) in the case of metal powders, or LaserCUSING (brand name, brand of Concept Laser GmbH).

A similar method is electron beam melting (EBM) using electron emitters instead of lasers.


18. How does SLM work?

The printing process begins with the separation of the digital three-dimensional model into layers with a thickness of 20 to 100 microns.

The finished file in the standard STL format is used as drawings for building a physical model.

The production cycle consists of applying a thin layer of powder on the work surface – usually a metal table that can move in a vertical direction.

The printing process takes place in a working chamber filled with inert gases (for example, argon).

The lack of oxygen avoids the oxidation of the consumable, which makes printing possible with materials such as titanium.

Each layer of the model is fused, repeating the contours of the layers of the digital model.

Melting is carried out using a laser beam guided along the X and Y axes by two mirrors with a high deflection rate.

The power of the laser emitter is high enough to melt the powder particles into a homogeneous material.


19. What are the best materials for SLM?

Typical representatives of the SLM family of devices have working chambers about 250 mm in size in one dimension, although there are no technological restrictions on the size of the construction area.

The most popular materials are powder metals and alloys, including stainless steel, tool steel, cobalt-chromium alloys, titanium, aluminum, gold, etc.


20. Where is SLM 3D printing used?

SLM technology allows you to create hollow metal structures of high geometric complexity.

Selective laser melting technology is used to build objects of complex geometric shapes, often with thin walls and cavities.

The ability to combine homogeneous and porous structures in one object is useful when creating implants – for example, acetabular cups or other orthopedic implants with a porous surface that facilitates Osseointegration (fusion with bone tissue).

In addition, SLM is successfully used in the aerospace industry, allowing you to create high-strength structural elements that are unattainable in geometric complexity for traditional mechanical methods of manufacturing and processing (milling, cutting, etc.).

The quality of the finished products is so high that the machining of finished models is almost not required. A side benefit is material savings.

During NASA tests, it was found that parts for J-2X and RS-25 rocket engines made of nickel alloys by the SLM method are slightly inferior in material density to analogs made by casting with subsequent welding of components.

On the other hand, the absence of welds favorably affects the strength of the products.


21. What is Stereolithography (SLA)?

Stereolithography (SLA or SL) is the technology of additive production of models, prototypes, and finished products from liquid photopolymer resins.

Hardening of the resin occurs due to irradiation with an ultraviolet laser or other similar energy sources.

The term “stereolithography” was coined in 1986 by Charles W. Hull, who patented a method and apparatus for the production of solid physical objects through the sequential layering of photopolymer material.

Hull’s patent describes the use of an ultraviolet laser projected onto the surface of a container filled with a liquid photopolymer.

Laser irradiation leads to solidification of the material at the points of contact with the beam, which allows you to draw the contours of a given model layer by layer.

To date, 3D Systems is one of the world leaders among developers and suppliers of additive manufacturing technologies.


22. How does Stereolithography (SLA) work?

The method is based on laser irradiation of a liquid photopolymer resin to create solid physical models.

The construction of the model is carried out layer by layer.

Each layer is plotted by a laser according to the data embedded in a three-dimensional digital model.

Laser irradiation leads to the polymerization (i.e. solidification) of the material at the points of contact with the beam.

Stereolithography allows you to create high-resolution models.

Upon completion of the construction of the circuit, the working platform is immersed in a tank with liquid resin at a distance equal to the thickness of one layer – as a rule, from 0.05 mm to 0.15 mm.

After leveling the surface of the liquid material, the process of building the next layer begins.

The cycle is repeated until the full model is built. After completion of construction, the products are washed to remove residual material and, if necessary, are processed in an ultraviolet furnace until the photopolymer completely hardens.

Stereolithography requires the use of supporting structures to build the mounted elements of the model, similar to the FDM technology.

The supports are provided in a file containing a digital model and are made of the same photopolymer material.

In fact, the supports are temporary structural elements that are removed manually after the completion of the manufacturing process.


23. What are the benefits of using Stereolithography (SLA)?

  • The main advantage of stereolithography is high print accuracy. Existing technology allows you to apply layers with a thickness of 15 microns, which is several times less than the thickness of a human hair.
  • The manufacturing accuracy is high enough for use in the manufacturing of prototypes of dental prostheses and jewelry.
  • The print speed is relatively high, given the high resolution of such devices: the time to build one model can be only a few hours, but in the end, it depends on the size of the model and the number of laser heads used by the device at the same time.
  • Relatively small desktop devices can have a build area of ​​50 to 150 mm in one dimension. At the same time, there are industrial plants that can print large models, where products are already measured in meters.
  • Stereolithography allows you to create parts of high complexity but often has a high cost due to the relatively high price of consumables. One liter of photopolymer resin can cost from $ 80 to $ 120, while the cost of devices can vary from $ 10,000 to $ 500,000.
  • The high popularity of the technology contributes to the development of more affordable models, such as FORM 1 from Formlabs or Pegasus Touch from FSL3D with declared value at $ 2,400 and $ 3,500 respectively.


24. What is Selective Heat Sintering (SHS)?

Selective heat sintering (SHS) is an additive manufacturing method. The technology is based on melting layers of a thermoplastic or metal powder using a heat emitter.


25. How does Selective Heat Sintering work?

At the end of layer formation, the work platform moves down a distance corresponding to the thickness of one layer, after which a new layer of powder is applied using an automated roller, and then the new layer is sintered along the contours specified by the digital three-dimensional model. SHS is best suited for the production of low-cost functional prototypes.


26. What are the best materials to use with SHS?

As a rule, plastics or fairly low-melting metals are used as consumables. In the latter case, models often require additional firing to increase strength.


27. What are the benefits of using SHS?

  • Relatively low energy costs allow you to use desktop SHS printers.
  • Selective thermal sintering (SHS) is similar to selective laser sintering (SLS) – the only significant difference is the use of a thermal print head instead of a laser.
  • This solution allows you to reduce the cost and dimensions of devices, up to the possibility of using desktop printers.
  • On the other hand, the energy efficiency of SHS printers is low compared to SLS devices, which limits the choice of materials.


28. What is Electron Beam Melting (EBM)

Electron beam melting (EBM) is a method for the additive production of metal products.

This technology is often classified as a quick production method.

Electron beam melting (EBM) is similar to selective laser melting (SLM) – the main difference is the use of electron emitters (so-called electron guns) instead of lasers as energy sources for melting.

The technology is based on the use of high-power electron beams for alloying metal powder in a vacuum chamber with the formation of successive layers repeating the contours of a digital model.

Unlike sintering technology, electron beam melting allows you to create parts of particularly high density and strength.


29. How does Electron Beam Melting work?

This method of manufacturing arbitrary shape parts allows you to create high-density metal models from metal powder.

Finished products practically do not differ from cast parts in mechanical properties.

The device reads data from a file containing a three-dimensional digital model and applies successive layers of powder material.

The contours of the layers of the model are drawn by an electron beam melting the powder in the places of contact.

Melting is carried out in vacuum working chambers, which allows working with materials sensitive to oxidation – for example, with pure titanium.

Electron beam melting is carried out at elevated background temperatures, reaching about 700-1000 ° C, which allows you to create parts that do not suffer from residual mechanical stress caused by the temperature gradient between the already cooled and still hot layers.

In addition, the complete melting of the consumable powder allows the production of monolithic products – hence the maximum strength and the absence of the need for firing.


30. Which are the best materials for Electron Beam Melting?

Consumables consist of pure metal powder without a binder filler, and finished models do not differ in porosity.

Thus, it is not necessary to burn the printed model to achieve the necessary mechanical strength.

This aspect makes it possible to classify EBMs along with selective laser melting (SLM) and separately from selective laser sintering (SLS) and direct laser sintering (DMLS) technologies, which often require firing after printing to achieve maximum strength characteristics.

Compared to SLS, SLM and DMLS, EBM has a higher build speed due to the higher power of the emitters and electronic, rather than electromechanical, beam deflection.


31. What are the applications of EBM 3D printing technology?

The use of titanium alloys as consumables allows the use of EBM technology for the production of medical implants.

Since 2007, two European companies, Adler Ortho and Lima Corporate, as well as the American company Exactech have been using EBM technology to produce acetabular cups (hip implants).

The technology has been applied in the aerospace industry: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and NASA use EBM for the production of jet and rocket engine parts, as well as supporting structural elements of aircraft.


32. What is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)?

Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing technology widely used in 3D modeling, prototyping, and industrial production.

FDM technology involves the creation of three-dimensional objects by applying successive layers of material repeating the contours of a digital model.

As a rule, thermoplastics supplied in the form of spools of thread or rods are used as printing materials.

Fused deposition (FDM) technology was developed by Scott Trump in the late 1980s and has been marketed by Stratasys since 1990.

Currently, the technology is becoming more and more popular among open source printers, as well as commercial companies, due to the expiration of the original patent.

In turn, the widespread use of technology has led to a significant reduction in prices for 3D printers using this production method.


33. How does FDM work?

The production cycle begins with processing a three-dimensional digital model.

The model in STL format is divided into layers and oriented in the most suitable way for printing.

If necessary, support structures necessary for printing overhanging elements are generated.

Some devices allow you to use different materials during the same production cycle.

For example, it is possible to print a model from one material with printing supports from another, easily soluble material, which makes it easy to remove supporting structures after the printing process is completed.

Alternatively, it is possible to print different colors of the same type of plastic when creating a single model.

The product, or “model”, is made by extrusion (“extrusion”) and applying micro-drops of molten thermoplastics with the formation of successive layers that harden immediately after extrusion.

A plastic thread is unwound from a spool and fed into an extruder – a device equipped with a mechanical drive for feeding the thread, a heating element for melting the material, and a nozzle through which the extrusion is carried out directly.

The heating element serves to heat the nozzle, which in turn melts the plastic thread and feeds the molten material to the model under construction.

As a rule, the upper part of the nozzle, on the contrary, is cooled by a fan to create a sharp temperature gradient, which is necessary to ensure a smooth supply of material.

The extruder moves in horizontal and vertical planes under the control of algorithms similar to those used in numerically controlled machines.

The nozzle moves along the path specified by the computer-aided design system.

The model is built layer by layer, from bottom to top.

Typically, an extruder (also called a “print head”) is driven by step motors or servos.

The most popular coordinate system used in FDM is the Cartesian system, built on a rectangular three-dimensional space with axes X, Y, and Z. An alternative is the cylindrical coordinate system used by the so-called “delta robots.”


34. Where is Fused Deposition Modelling used?

Modeling (FDM) is used for rapid prototyping and rapid production. Rapid prototyping facilitates retesting with consistent, step-by-step facility upgrades. Rapid production serves as a low-cost alternative to standard methods for creating small batches.


35. Which are the best materials to use with FDM?

Among the materials used are ABS, polyphenol sulfone, polycarbonate, and polyetherimide.

All kinds of thermoplastics and composites are available as consumables, including ABS, PLA, polycarbonates, polyamides, polystyrene, lignin, and many others. As a rule, various materials provide a choice of balance between specific strength and temperature characteristics.

These materials are ideal for heat resistance. Some variants of polyetherimide, in particular, have high refractoriness, which makes them suitable for use in the aerospace industry.


36. What are the benefits of using FDM?

  • FDM is one of the least expensive printing methods that provide the growing popularity of home printers based on this technology.
  • In everyday life, 3D-printers using FDM technology can be used to create a wide variety of special-purpose objects, toys, jewelry, and souvenirs.
  • FDM technology is highly flexible but has certain limitations.


37. What are the disadvantages of using FDM?

Although the creation of overhanging structures is possible at small angles of inclination, in the case of large angles, it is necessary to use artificial supports, which are usually created during the printing process and separated from the model at the end of the process.


38. What is Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)?

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is an additive manufacturing technology for metal products developed by EOS from Munich. DMLS is often confused with similar technologies for selective laser sintering (“Selective Laser Sintering” or SLS) and selective laser smelting (“Selective Laser Melting” or SLM).


39. How does DMLS work?

The process involves the use of three-dimensional models in the STL format as drawings for the construction of physical models.

The three-dimensional model is digitally processed for virtual separation into thin layers with a thickness corresponding to the thickness of the layers applied by the printing device.

The finished “building” file is used as a set of drawings during printing. Relatively high-power fiber lasers of the order of 200 W are used as a heating element for sintering metal powder.

Some devices use more powerful lasers with increased scanning speed (i.e. moving the laser beam) for higher performance.

Alternatively, it is possible to increase productivity through the use of several lasers.

The powder material is fed into the working chamber in quantities necessary for applying one layer.

A special roller aligns the supplied material in an even layer and removes excess material from the chamber, after which the laser head sinters the particles of fresh powder between each other and with the previous layer according to the contours defined by the digital model.

After drawing the layer, the process repeats: the roller feeds fresh material and the laser begins to sinter the next layer.

An attractive feature of this technology is its very high print resolution – an average of about 20 microns.

In comparison, the typical layer thickness in amateur and household printers using FDM / FFF technology is about 100 microns.

Another interesting feature of the process is the absence of the need to build supports for overhanging structural elements.

Unsecured powder is not removed during printing but remains in the cooking chamber.

Thus, each subsequent layer has a supporting surface.

In addition, unspent material can be collected from the working chamber upon completion of printing and reused.

DMLS production can be considered virtually waste-free, which is important when using expensive materials – for example, precious metals.


40. What are the applications of DMLS Technology?

At the moment, DMLS installations are used only in a professional environment because of the high cost.

However, DMLS is actively used in the industry due to the possibility of building internal structures of integral parts, inaccessible in complexity to traditional production methods.

Parts with complex geometry can be made in whole, and not from components, which favorably affects the quality and cost of products.

Since DMLS does not require special tools (for example, molds) and does not produce a large amount of waste (as is the case with subtractive methods), the production of small batches using this technology is much more profitable than using traditional methods.

Basically, DMLS technology is used for the production of finished products of small and medium-size in various industries, including aerospace, dental, medical, etc.

The typical size of the construction area of ​​existing installations is 250x250x250mm, although there are no technological restrictions on the size – this is just a matter of the cost of the device.

DMLS is used for rapid prototyping, reducing the development time of new products, as well as in production, allowing to reduce the cost of small batches and simplify the assembly of products of complex geometric shapes.


41. Which printing materials are best suitable for DMLS?

As consumables, almost any metal and alloys in powder form can be used. Today, stainless steel, cobalt-chromium alloys, titanium, and other materials are successfully used.


42. What are the advantages of DMLS technology?

  • DMLS technology has several advantages over traditional manufacturing methods.
  • The most obvious is the ability to quickly produce geometrically complex parts without the need for mechanical processing (the so-called “subtractive” methods – milling, drilling, etc.).
  • Production is virtually waste-free, which distinguishes DMLS from subtractive technologies.
  • The technology allows you to create several models at the same time with a restriction only on the size of the working chamber.
  • The technology has practically no restrictions on the geometric complexity of construction, and high accuracy of execution minimizes the need for machining of printed products.

43. What are the disadvantages of DMLS technology?

Building models takes about several hours, which is incomparably more profitable than the foundry process, which can take up to several months, taking into account the full production cycle.

On the other hand, parts produced by laser sintering are not monolithic, and therefore do not reach the same strength indices as cast samples.


44. What is Electron Beam Melting (EBM)?

Production of arbitrary forms of electron beam melting (EBM) – an innovative additive manufacturing method developed by NASA’s Langley Research Center (LaRC) under the direction of Karen Taminger.

EBM technology is aimed at the additive production of complex models with reduced material consumption compared to traditional methods and virtually no need for mechanical processing.

The technology has been under development for more than a decade in collaboration with other NASA research centers (JSC, GRC, GSFC, and MSFC), federal agencies, and the US private aerospace industry.

NASA hopes to use EBM for the production of metal parts in the absence of gravity.

The method uses high-power electron beams for the sequential deposition of materials in the form of a metal wire.

Technological features of electron beam melting, along with environmental friendliness and efficiency.


45. How does Electron Beam Melting work?

The concept of EBM is based on the construction of “almost finished models”.

This means that products are created on the basis of three-dimensional digital models with such high precision that mechanical processing and fine-tuning of products are practically not required.

Modern production methods using software control are based on processing a three-dimensional digital model to create algorithms used in machine processing (the so-called G-code).

Algorithms are used to determine the path of the cutting tools in the process of creating the finished product from the disc.


46. How does EBM work?

The technology uses high-power electronic emitters in a vacuum chamber to melt metal.

The electron beam moves along the working surface, repeating the contours of the digital model, while the metal wire is gradually fed to the focus point of the beam.

The molten material immediately solidifies, forming durable layers of a given model.

The process is repeated until the construction of a solid model, requiring only minimal processing of the external surface.

The electron beam moves along the working surface, repeating the contours of the digital model, while the metal wire is gradually fed to the focus point of the beam.

The molten material immediately solidifies, forming durable layers of a given model.

The process is repeated until the construction of a solid model, requiring only minimal processing of the external surface.


47. What are the benefits of EBM 3D printing?

  • EBM technology allows you to create objects ranging in size from a few millimeters to several meters.
  • Models produced by this type of 3D printing are almost perfect

48. The disadvantages of EBM printing

  • Practical restrictions on the volume of construction are imposed by the physical dimensions of the vacuum working chamber and the amount of consumables available.
  • It can be expensive.

49. What is Digital Light Processing (DLP)?

Digital light processing (DLP) is possibly one of the most popular methods for additive manufacturing of high-precision prototypes, laser stereolithography (SLA). The process is based on the use of photopolymer resins that cure when exposed to ultraviolet light.

DLP (Digital Light Processing) printing technology is another technology used by 3D resin printers.

The object is created by solidifying the photosensitive resin thanks to the UV rays emitted by a projector (photopolymerization process).

The projector resolution ultimately determines the resolution of 3D printing. DLP 3D printers are becoming more common, especially because their printing speed is faster than 3D SLA printers, thanks to the projector, which suddenly solidifies a surface that forms a layer of the object, while the laser used in SLA works point by point.

50. How does DLP work?

The object is created by solidifying the photosensitive resin thanks to the UV rays emitted by a projector (photopolymerization process).

The projector resolution ultimately determines the resolution of 3D printing.

DLP-3D printers are used more and more, especially because their printing speed is faster than 3D SLA printers, thanks to the projector that suddenly solidifies a surface that forms a layer of the object, while the laser used in SLA is point by point is working.

51. Where is Digital Light Processing used?

Since their introduction, DLP printers have been in direct competition with devices with SLA technology.

DLP printers are used in dentistry, in jewelry, in free design, and in the production of souvenirs.


52. What are the advantages of Digital Light Processing?

Like stereolithographic standard devices, DLP printers have a high printing precision: the minimum layer thickness can reach 15 micrometers with existing installations.

The minimum layer thickness for cheaper FDM printers is usually not less than 50 microns.

In practice, the resolution is inversely related to the layer speed thanks to the technology, indicators with higher precision can be achieved at the expense of a slower printing speed.

Consumables, namely photopolymer resins, have a high degree of mechanical properties: imitations of hard plastics to rubber are possible. Printing is usually the same color, but there are no restrictions on the palette.

53. What are the disadvantages of DLP?

The main disadvantage of the DLP method as well as the SLA is the relatively high cost of consumables – about $ 80 to $ 160 per liter of liquid polymer.

For comparison, a kilogram of plastic FDM printing filament can be purchased for $ 35. Therefore, the user must find the right balance between print quality and cost.

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