Post-processing – more than a must
DR. PAUL GAUSS, CHEMICAL AND PROCESS ENGINEER, GENERA
So far you bought a printing system, maybe a printer, a washing unit and some kind of post-curing chamber, and you had to do everything by hand. So, this means you go to the printer, you take out the part, it will be full of resin, it will start dripping everywhere, you have to wear gloves and you will make your hands dirty no matter what.
Then you have the choice either to scrap off the printed part as a green and dirty part with a spatula and then put it into the washing machine – take it out of the washing machine, put it into the post-curing chamber and the time for washing and also the time for post-curing also the choice of resin was actually your choice, maybe on experience or you had some hints in the manuals of the resin manufacturers. But what we wanted is to find a new way to production in the field of 3d printing so that you don’t have to touch anything until you have the finished part.
So actually, this is what the customer wants, he wants to push a button and print something and then just take out the finished part. So the thing is, every part you print will need some a little bit different cleaning and post-processing, because depending on the material you use, or also the geometry of the part, you will need a different post-processing. So, if you have a material that is for example sensitive to the solvent you use for washing, you will need shorter washing times. If you have some parts with a complicated geometry, you will need maybe a longer washing time or a more intensive washing because you want to get the resin out of small cavities.
And also, for the post-curing, some materials need longer post-curing if the wall thickness of a part is thicker, or higher, then you will need longer exposure to the UV light because the light needs time to penetrate through the thicker wall inside the material. So you see that if you change one thing in this whole system you will need a completely adapted post-processing, and therefore we wanted a solution where the customer doesn’t have to think about that but our software and our engineering will provide that.