With the forecasted exponential growth of the aerospace industry’s use of 3D printing comes challenges for the technology to scale to achieve its full potential. One of these challenges is the bottleneck in post-processing as a result of methods adopted while the market was still in its infancy. These approaches, including manual labor and traditional finishing machinery, are proving to hinder scale-up to production volumes for aerospace, as they result in high breakage, low throughput, and inconsistent quality.
In order to address this hurdle, post-processing must be approached with a transformative solution matching the automation and versatility inherent to the design and build steps of 3D printing. The digitalization of tribal knowledge native to post-processing is required, enabling customer-ready parts to be produced with increased throughput, consistency, and productivity. This is especially true in aerospace manufacturing settings where stringent quality standards exist. Additionally, the Industry 4.0 concept/factory floor of the future cannot be achieved without the digitized nature of 3D printing extending to the post-print step.
This presentation will compare existing post-processing techniques with a novel solution that uniquely achieves this goal of software-driven post-printing: one that intelligently drives a mechanical system for post-print finishing using chemistry tailored for the array of additive manufacturing materials. The benefits of this system for the aerospace market will be outlined through real-customer case study examples for widely used print materials such as metals, as well as FDM, PolyJet, and SLA, demonstrating transformative ROI achieved through increased throughput, consistency, and productivity.
- Determine 3D post-print bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement in their own production facilities
- Convey the importance of a digitized 3D post-printing solution for aerospace top fully adopt additive manufacturing
- Describe the benefits of using software in 3D post-printing over traditional methods and manual labor
Why Is It Important?
The aerospace industry’s increasing adoption of additive manufacturing necessitates the analysis of throughput constraints and quality requirements at each stage. Post-printing is the often-overlooked final step in 3D printing that is becoming a bottleneck in its use of manual and legacy manufacturing methods. Furthermore, as aerospace companies look to ready their manufacturing for Industry 4.0, a software-driven solution for post-printing must be identified to achieve full automation.