Home Industry Wohlers Associates publishes technical report on post-processing in additive manufacturing

Wohlers Associates publishes technical report on post-processing in additive manufacturing

Wohlers Associates has published “Final Steps of AM Part Production,” a Wohlers Specialty Report on Post Processing. The report, which focuses on parts produced by additive manufacturing, is an updated version of the 2021 report, “Post-Processing of AM and 3D-Printed Parts.” The 2023 edition includes new sections describing the latest major developments in post-processing and highlights many of the key players in the industry.

The report provides detailed, up-to-date information on post-processing methods for major AM processes, such as powder bed fusion, material extrusion, and vat photopolymerization.

“Little systematic documentation is available for post-processing, despite the vast amount of knowledge and experience individual companies have on the subject,” said Terry Wohlers, head of advisory services and market intelligence at Wohlers Associates, powered by ASTM International. “Many consider it their intellectual property even though it is often similar to what other companies are doing. With the Wohlers Specialty Report on Post-Processing, we aim to present much of this information in one document. Our goal is to help companies stay up to date on the evolution of post-processing methods and processes so they can produce the best possible parts with the most value.”

Other topics covered in the report include methods of support removal for both metal and polymer parts, surface finishing, coloring, coating, and heat treatment. Also included are methods of minimizing the need for post-processing, such as designing to reduce the need for support material. It is costly to produce it and often more expensive to remove it.

“Post-processing contributes significant cost and time to the AM workflow,” said Olaf Diegel, a consultant at Wohlers Associates and principal author of the report. “As organizations adopt the best practices presented in this report, the cost and time associated with processing AM parts will decline. The report covers in detail methods such as design for additive manufacturing (DfAM), which help to greatly improve part quality and performance.”

Find out more about Wohlers Associates at wohlersassociates.com.

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