3D printing technology brought many new possibilities and opportunities to different fields and industries. In the world of metal fabrication, you can now actually 3D print metal parts. 3D printing allows you to produce parts that have more complex shapes or geometries.
You can produce parts with fewer components as well limited assemblies. Just like any other metal part, the 3D-printed parts you made still need surface preparation if you plan to paint it or at least some surface finishing work.
Prepare 3D printed metal part surfaces
You can perform surface preparation on your 3D-printed metal parts. The preparation can ensure that the protective coatings applied to the parts will bond well with the metal. You can use abrasive blasting cabinets for your surface preparation. Abrasive blasting is an effective method to clean metal parts.
At the same time, blasting cabinets can help you contain the blasting process as well as recycle the abrasive media used in the process.
Finish part surfaces: match techniques
When it comes to the surface finishing of 3D-printed parts, you can remember that different kinds of finishing applications work best for different metal parts. You can use one or more finishing techniques based on your metal part’s material grain size, printing technique, and geometry.
3D printing allows you to produce usually multiple part builds in one build or one build into several part builds. To allow for easier finishing, you can simplify the design of your build as much as possible. In this way, the finishing techniques you will use can handle the dimensional requirements of the printed parts.
Ultimately, to know which finishing techniques work best with certain printed parts, you can conduct tests and experiments. You can print metal parts for such experiments and use the finishing techniques you usually use on them. You can analyse the results, limitations, and strengths of each finishing method then.
The finishing of 3D printed metal parts can prove difficult for fabricators, but you can learn how to do it well with enough research and hands-on learning yourself.