Let’s Talk About Post-Processing

A finished 3D print job — in need of post-processing work [Image: PostProcess Technologies]

They call post-processing the “dirty little secret” of 3D printing, but let’s talk about it.

Of course anyone involved in additive manufacturing is no stranger to this poorly-kept secret. After all, it happens after every single print job.

3D Print Post-Processing

The work of processing a completed 3D print job may involve a simple support removal, or may be an in-depth procedure of sintering or curing, shining, perhaps coloring. It all depends on the 3D printer and material used, as well as what the part is for; you’re much more likely to exert a lot of effort in finishing an end-use show part than a dinky prototype or just-for-fun piece.

Every job is different — but almost no print job is done after the printer status hits 100%.

But what all might be involved? How can a company prepare for the post-processing work needed when bringing in a new system? How informed is the industry about what all is needed? Is post-processing even really a quasi-secret anymore?

There are a lot of question marks. Fortunately, answers are emerging, and post-processing is a conversation that’s happening more and more.

PostProcess Technologies’ Survey

Last year, PostProcess Technologies introduced the 3D printing industry’s first post-processing survey.

The results were interesting; some of the findings that resonated most with us included:

  • Post-processing time is too long
  • Half of companies use more than one 3D print process
  • Half use more than three post-processing processes
  • Support removal is the most frequently seen process

You can read more about our reading of the 2019 post-processing survey results here.

Surveys, though, often provide the most useful data when conducted relatively regularly. So it’s good news for us all that more data should be coming in soon — and that’s where you come in.

PostProcess Technologies 2020 Survey

The 2020 survey is live now, as PostProcess Technologies is seeking new information.

They invite your participation:

“Join the only 3D printing industry survey addressing trends and insights for the critical 3rd step of additive manufacturing, post-printing. The results of this year’s Annual Post-Printing Trends Survey will provide an in-depth look at common practices and challenges from end-users across an array of printing technologies. Data will be tabulated and summarized with key highlights and discoveries published in a comprehensive report at the beginning of September. You won’t want to miss this insightful resource to help shape your post-printing strategy!”

Participation by August 8 also enters respondents into a contest to win one of five Apple watches being offered as a prize.

Help PostProcess Technologies continue in the good work of gathering data about post-processing — and making this more of an open conversation! — by responding to their survey.

Via PostProcess Technologies

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