Advanced Post-Processing Techniques for Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D Printing

Advanced Post-Processing Techniques for Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D Printing

HP MJF 3D Part Printed and Painted

The quality of 3D printed parts straight out of the printer is only sometimes optimal for practical use, and that’s where post-processing techniques come into play. One of the most advanced and popular 3D printing technologies, Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), produces high-quality parts with excellent mechanical properties. However, even multi-jet fusion 3d parts can benefit from post-processing to enhance their surface finish, mechanical properties, and functionality. This article will discuss some advanced post-processing techniques that can be applied to MJF 3D printed parts to achieve a superior final product.

Amuse HP MJF 3D Printed part in painting process

Amuse HP MJF 3D Printed part in painting process

Why does post-processing need to be done?

The printed parts often require post-processing to achieve the desired finish and functionality. Post-processing refers to the techniques used to treat and finish 3D-printed parts after they are printed. These techniques can be mechanical, chemical, or thermal in nature, and they are used to enhance the part’s surface quality, strength, and durability.

Industrial PU Painting in Amuse 3D

Industrial PU Painted MJF Printed Part in Amuse

Post-processing is essential for creating high-quality, functional parts that meet the desired specifications. It can remove any support structures or excess material, smooth the surface finish, and add color or texture to the part. It is one of the essential steps in the 3D printing process, ensuring that the final product meets the required standards and functions as intended.

Things to consider in MJF post-processing

Here are a few things that need to be done before and after the post-processing of 3D-printed parts.

Removal of Excess material: The first step is to remove the excess material that remains after the MJF printing process. This excess material can be reused for subsequent builds, making MJF an environmentally friendly 3D printing process.

Cleaning: After the excess support material has been removed, the parts are cleaned to remove any remaining residue. This step is done to ensure the parts have no uneven surfaces.

Drying: Once the parts are cleaned, they are dried to remove any moisture that may be present. This process makes the subsequent post-processing steps effective.

Post-Processing: Depending on the desired finish of the parts, various post-processing techniques can be employed, such as sanding, bead blasting, graphite, or chemical polishing. These techniques help to achieve a smooth surface finish and can also improve the overall rigidity of the parts.

Final Inspection: The final step in the post-processing process involves inspecting the parts to ensure they meet the required specifications. Any defects or issues can be addressed before the parts are used.

MJF 3D printing advanced post-processing techniques

We have made a list of advanced post-processing techniques, which are industry standards that can be applied to Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printed parts to enhance their properties and appearance. Here are some of them:

  • Airblasting: A high-pressure air stream removes excess powder from the part’s surface.
  • Sanding: Sanding is a technique to smooth the part’s surface by removing any visible layer lines or rough spots.
  • Vibratory Tumbling: This process involves placing the 3D parts in a vibratory tumbler with an abrasive media, which removes any surface imperfections and smooths out the surface.
    Advanced post-processing mjf tumbling process - Amuse

    Image Courtesy: Inovatec machinery (Shinysmooth)

  • Chemical Polishing/ Vapor Polishing: Chemical polishing is a process that uses a chemical solution to dissolve a small layer of material from the part’s surface, resulting in a smooth and polished finish. Machine manufacturers like DyeMansion and AMT Technologies offer this solution.
    Advanced post-processing mjf Vapour polishing - Amuse

    Image Courtesy: Xometry

  • Bead Blasting: This process involves using delicate beads or abrasive material that is blasted onto the surface of the MJF part to remove any excess material or surface imperfections.
  • Water Jet Blasting: This technique involves using a high-pressure stream of water to remove any residual powder from the part’s surface.
  • Graphite Blasting: This process uses graphite particles to clean and polish the MJF part’s surface.
    MJF 3D printing

    HP MJF 3D Printed Part from Amuse

  • Dying: Dying is a process that involves coloring the MJF parts to give them a more attractive appearance.
  • Painting, smoking, and Electroplating: These techniques improve the part’s aesthetics and add additional properties, such as corrosion resistance. The cover picture of the blog is MJF 3D Printed part in Amuse 3D Printing followed by the painting process. Sometimes we refer to mild painting on graphite blasted part as a smoking process.
Connectors MJF 3D Printed and black smoked

Connectors MJF 3D Printed and black smoked in Amuse

These advanced post-processing techniques can be used individually or in combination to achieve the desired properties and appearance for the MJF 3D printed parts.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, the post-processing techniques involved in MJF 3D Printing play a significant role in enhancing the quality of the printed parts. By implementing these advanced post-processing methods, you can achieve a superior surface finish in your 3D-printed parts.

Moreover, basic post-processing techniques such as painting and electroplating can also add to the aesthetic appeal of the printed parts and make them more visually appealing. With the increasing rise in MJF 3D Printing, it is crucial to learn the significance of post-processing techniques and their impact on the final product. We hope this article helps you to understand the post-processing techniques of Multi jet fusion 3D Printing.

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