Finishing And Post Processing​

Do you need to make a prototype look like the real thing for a photoshoot or customer presentation? This is a common use of additive technologies, and we have the tools and skills to make this happen. There are many tricks of the trade that our in-house craftsmen use, so if you don’t see something here, be sure to ask our project managers.

Most additive manufacturing materials are receptive to advanced finishing, and we offer multiple solutions from basic cleanup to custom finishes.

Multicolor painted models, tinted, dyed, translucent,  electroplating (copper, nickel, or chrome), ink transfers, sandblasted, laser engraved logos, and vinyl graphics are just a few of the tricks our talented finishing staff have used to create the professional, realistic look you expect.  Below is a list of the finishing and post-processing procedures by technology.  Also, be sure to check out our PostPro3D page, highlighting our automated vapor smoothing equipment.

  • Laser Sintering
  • Multi Jet Fusion
  • Stereolithography
  • Digital Light Processing
  • Fused Filament Fabrication
  • Material Jetting
  • Additional Finishing Processes

Laser Sintering Finishing Levels

Level

Process

Description

1

Excess powder removed and lightly bead blasted

Standard finish. Parts have visible layer lines and sandstone texture.

2

Excess powder removed, lightly bead blasted, and sealed to lessen porosity

Sealed finish. Parts have visible layer lines, sandstone texture, and a slight gloss. Parts have a watertight finish.

2 +

Excess powder removed, lightly bead blasted, and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 180 grit

Functional finish, removes some layer lines. Parts have a light texture from sanding.

Excess powder removed, lightly bead blasted, and smoothed using PostPro3D

PostPro3D equipment is used to perform physiochemical smoothing. Smoothed parts have an air-tight, injection molded like finish

3

Sealed, primed, or smoothed with PostPro3D and sanded to 320 grit

Near show quality finish, removes layer lines. Parts may have very fine scratches from sanding. Parts are prime and paint ready.

Multi Jet Fusion Finishing Levels

Level

Process

Description

1

Excess powder removed and lightly bead blasted

Standard finish. Parts have visible layer lines and sandstone texture.

2

Excess powder removed, lightly bead blasted, and sealed to lessen porosity

Sealed finish. Parts have visible layer lines, sandstone texture, and a slight gloss. Parts have a watertight finish.

2 +

Excess powder removed, lightly bead blasted, and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 180 grit

Functional finish, removes some layer lines. Parts have a light texture from sanding.

Excess powder removed, lightly bead blasted, and smoothed using PostPro3D

PostPro3D equipment is used to perform physiochemical smoothing. Smoothed parts have an air-tight, injection molded like finish

3

Sealed, primed, or smoothed with PostPro3D and sanded to 320 grit

Near show quality finish, removes layer lines. Parts may have very fine scratches from sanding. Parts are prime and paint ready.

Stereolithography Finishing Levels

Level

Process

Description

1

Supports removed and support faces lightly sanded

Standard finish, supported surfaces appearing dull and non-supported surfaces appearing glossy. Parts will have visible layer lines.

2

Supports removed, support faces lightly sanded, and entire part bead blasted

Even surface finish, gloss removed from non-supported surfaces to create a more consistent finish. Parts will have visible layer lines.

2 +

Supports removed, support faces lightly sanded, cosmetic surfaces sanded to 180 grit, and entire part bead blasted

Functional finish, removes some layer lines. Parts have a light texture from sanding.

3

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, cosmetic surfaces sanded to 320 grit, and entire part bead blasted

Show quality finish, removes layer lines from cosmetic surfaces. This finish is recommended for priming, painting, and urethane mold masters.

4

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, cosmetic surfaces wet sanded to 600 grit

Highest quality finish, recommended only for plating and optically clear parts.

Digital Light Processing Finishing Levels

Level

Process

Description

1

Supports removed and support surfaces lightly sanded

Standard finish, supported surfaces appearing dull. Parts will have visible lines.

2*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and entire part bead blasted

Even surface finish, more consistent matte finish. Parts will have visible layer lines.

2 +*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 180 grit and bead blasted

Functional finish, removes some layer lines. Parts have a light texture from sanding.

3*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 320 grit

Show quality finish, removes most visible lines. Parts are prime and paint ready.

4*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and wet sanded to 600 grit

High gloss finish, recommended only for plating.

* Elastomeric materials can only be finished to Level 1. For a higher quality finish, these materials may be coated in soft touch.

Level

Process

Description

1

Supports removed

Standard finish. Parts will have prominent layer lines.

2

Supports removed and part sealed

Sealed finish. Parts have prominent layer lines.

2 +

Supports removed and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 180 grit

Functional finish, removes some layer lines. Parts have a light texture from sanding.

Supports removed and part smoothed using PostPro3D

PostPro3D equipment is used to perform physiochemical smoothing. Smoothed parts have an airtight, injection-molded like finish.

3

Supports removed and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 320 grit

Near show quality finish, removes layer lines. Parts may have very fine scratches from sanding. Parts are prime and paint ready.

Material Jetting Finishing Levels

Level

Process

Description

1

Supports removed

Standard finish, supported surfaces appearing matte and non-supported surfaces appearing glossy. Parts will have slight layer lines.

2

Part built using matte build settings and supports removed

Standard finish, parts built surrounded in support. All surfaces appear matte. Parts will have slight layer lines.

3*

Supports removed and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 320 grit

Show quality finish, removes layer lines. Parts are prime and paint ready.

4*

Supports removed and cosmetic surfaces wet sanded to 600 grit

High gloss finish, recommended only for plating and optically clear parts (note that clear-coat and light bleaching is necessary for optimal clarity).

* Elastomeric materials can only be finished to Level 1 and Level 2. For a higher quality finish, these materials may be coated in soft touch.

Additional Finishing Processes

Finish

Applicable Technologies

Description

Primer

All technologies

Prepares parts for application of paint or other coatings.

Paint

All technologies

Color matching can be performed upon request.

Soft Touch

All technologies

Soft, rubberlike part coating.

Clear Coat

All technologies

Gloss and matte finish available.

Light Bleaching

MJ

UV treatment used to enhance the clarity of Vero Clear material.

Dyeing

LS, MJF*

We offer the following colors:

  • Dusty Blue
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Burgundy
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Red
  • True Blue
  • Yellow

Vacuum Plating

SL, other AM technologies upon consultation

Aluminum

Electroplating

SL, other AM technologies upon consultation

Copper and nickel are available.

Electromagnetic (EMI) Shielding

All technologies

Conductive paint coating is applied to the part.

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