Step 6. Post-processing

How does the final processing of the part take place?

Traditional method of processing of items printed on SLM 3D printers

Post-processing can be carried out either manually or (on large-scale productions) using professional equipment.

Post-processing is divided into several stages:

Stress relief: During the growing process, internal stresses can occur within the items. To relieve these stresses, thermal treatment is conducted.
Removing the part from the build platform: For small production volumes, this can be done with a regular metal saw. However, more productive and sophisticated methods are available, such as a band saw or an electrical discharge machining (EDM) machine.
Supports removal: Supports are easily removable as they are hollow and have very thin walls. We manually remove the majority of supports with pliers. Traces of supports are removed using a drilling machine. If the part's shape allows it, supports can be removed using a lathe or milling machine, leaving no traces and saving time.
Final surface finishing: This step is mostly used to achieve a smoother surface. The simplest method is to continue using the drilling machine with special finishing attachments. Depending on the specialist's skills, resources, and part configuration, other methods such as sandblasting, vibratory finishing, electrochemical polishing, and manual polishing can be employed

Artistic finishing of designer and jewelry items

When it comes to art, mechanical processing is not enough. A more artistic touch is required for the item. This can be achieved in various ways:

  1. Polishing with a rotary tool using specialized attachments. In addition to overall polishing, partial polishing of raised parts of the design can be performed. The contrast between smooth areas and textures looks impressive.
  2. Oxidation. This process involves applying an oxide film of different colors to the metal. This can color the metal in shades of gold, blue, turquoise, violet, and lavender. The oxide film appears after heating the item or by passing an electric current through the item in an electrolyte solution.
  3. Etching of metal items. Etching allows for obtaining a smooth surface without mechanical processing. This is particularly relevant for complex generative design pieces that are difficult to process manually. The etching process involves treating the metal with acids to selectively remove the surface layer

Please send your inquiry to learn more about our SLM 3D printers

Do you have any questions about our printers or contract printing services? Our knowledgeable specialists will promptly answer all your inquiries
Our solutions for SLM 3D printing
Areas of application
Learn about the advantages of metal 3D printing for various manufacturing sectors
About us
Our Mission. Our Goal. Our Team
Learn more!