Surface Finishing of Metal AM Parts

Burns, Neil and Molyneux, Anthony and Geekie, Louise (2016) Surface Finishing of Metal AM Parts. In: 6th International Conference on Additive Technologies - iCAT 2016 Proceedings, 2016-11-292016-11-30.

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Components manufactured using additive technologies are produced with a rough surface and a significant amount of support material still attached. The support structures can often be easily removed with simple tooling methods, but it can be difficult to get a smooth, uniform surface finish – particularly on internal surfaces. Surface roughness is not consistent across an additively manufactured part. The orientation of a surface relative to the build plate affects its roughness; also, internal surfaces can have a harsher surface than external surfaces. A major problem is that internal surfaces are often harder to reach; making it difficult to alter their surface properties. Across the industry there is no consensus on the method of finishing which yields the best result; often, companies will use multiple steps in their finishing method. Through experimentation, it is possible to find an optimal orientation to build parts from; some build orientations improve certain features of a design. By optimising the orientation, it is possible to save time on the finishing process and achieve a better overall product. Research into mass finishing has offered a simpler way to finish parts which works on all surfaces but does not necessarily improve the consistency across the part.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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6th International Conference on Additive Technologies - iCAT 2016 Proceedings
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02 Jun 2021 10:35
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 05:47