As demand for additive manufacturing processes continues to grow, attention is increasingly turning to the post-processing environment that is key to productivity.
Post-processing in the world of 3D printing is an important step in the production chain and is vital to transforming the commercial potential of additive manufacturing into high quality finished products. So, what’s involved and what role does BOFA filtration play in enhancing value?
Post processing is a catch-all term and means different things to different manufacturers – but the ultimate aim is the same… to create a product ready for market. This typically includes curing, polishing, deburring, mechanical cleaning or air blasting – all of which require BOFA filtration to help maintain a healthy working environment and to contribute to a high quality end product.
Typically, post-processing involves:
- Curing – the application of a UV light source to the printed part, which could result in off-gassing which could be toxic and / or smelly.
- Washing – cleaning through product immersion in isopropyl alcohol, which again results in toxic off-gassing.
- Sintering – a furnace treatment which releases airborne gases.
- Mechanical cleaning – sanding and air blasting that require filtration of resultant particulate.
Within BOFA’s 3D print filtration systems, the FumeCAB is much in demand for a post-processing environment. This enclosure technology is ideally suited to a stereolithography system where the off-gassing from the print gets extracted. It can also help with the off- gassing from a washing station and contribute to filtration for most other post-processing applications.
The 3D PrintPRO 4 will also provide effective filtration for many post-processing applications. It has recently been enhanced to support fused deposition modelling, stereolithography, digital light processing, and material jetting. It can manage multi-unit operations thanks to an advanced, high capacity filtration system, while delivering optimal temperature control. Effective airflow management contributes to an odourless workplace environment.
Finally, the AD Oracle iQ is a high performance global fume extraction system designed for laser marking, coding engraving and AM laser sintering applications.
These systems are becoming increasingly important in leveraging the value of additive manufacturing. Printing, of course, is fundamental to product integrity, but post processing is also essential in optimising the commercial value of 3D print environments…and BOFA is helping to unlock this full potential through automated filtration technologies.