SLA Post Processing and Design Tips for SLA Parts
What’s the SLA post Processing for Finished Parts?
SLA 3D Printing has the capability of producing parts that have fine details with features that are as little as 0.3 mm. One common problem that most manufacturers encounter is that since the parts are often small, their prints need angular orientation as well as requiring support for attached structures. The supports may leave marks on the surfaces, making it uneven. Luckily, we at Creatingway know that resins are one of the easiest materials to post-process. It allows us to carry out a variety of finishing options on them. Here is further insight into a few of the common finishing processes.
Basic Support Removal
It is a process that entails the removal or breaking of the support structures from the model. It usually leaves a bump on the surface that was initially in contact with the support material. For better dimensional accuracy, we normally add extra material that is at least 0.1mm and later sand it down to smoothen it. Not only does this give us a high-quality finish, but it also ensures the highest accuracy since the overall geometry does not change. We usually perform it after drilling important vertical holes. Our clients also gain complete control over the finished product. It, however, may not be as aesthetically pleasing and requires the highest level of expertise to achieve a proper finish.
Sanded Support Nibs For CNC Post Processing
It is a process that involves sanding off the small support nibs. The process is ideal for surfaces that are easy to judge whether they are flat or not. The overall geometry of the SLA printed part remains basically the same since it is only the support nibs that undergo sanding. This provides a surface that is close to the 3D model and the resulting matte finish conceals its imperfections. It may, however, end with an irregular surface on the side that had the support and the resin may not be exceptionally clear.
It is a process that we commonly use to achieve the smoothest surface finish. The build lines in the unsupported side of the model are the ones that require sanding. We achieve this through the use of single high-grade sandpaper, making the finish considerably cheap. The supported side generally uses up more labor and at least four sandpaper graduations. We, therefore, prefer placing the supports on the least visible side of the printed part. The support placement is a factor that contributes to either the gain or loss of accuracy as sanding removes some portion of the material. Wet sanding is ideal for complex materials as well as an excellent means of preparing the part for painting. The water that we utilize in the process may, however, result in some light/white spots on the print.
Mineral Oil Finish
The process is similar to wet sanding, with the main difference being that we add a mineral oil layer after the sanding process. The layer of mineral oil is important in hiding the light/white spots on the part hence resulting in an excellent finish. It additionally may help in reducing friction between mechanical parts by acting as a surface lubricant. The surface may, however, be more difficult to paint.
Spray Painting Using a Clear UV Protective Acrylic
The process utilizes a spray paint to conceal the layer lines present on the component. This is helpful in reducing the need for sanding the unsupported side of the component. The varnish is also key in protecting the component from yellowing during the post-curing process as it reduces the duration of UV exposure. It, unfortunately, increases the part’s overall dimensions.
Design Tips for Coming up With Excellent SLA Post Processing
Traditional SLA printers comprise a platform inside a vat of liquid photopolymer material. Its main disadvantage is that the quantity of resin in the vat has to be a little more than the maximum build volume. This essentially means that even the small prints require a large amount of resin. We often resolve this issue through the use of inverted SLA printers. To properly utilize this printing technique, here are a few tips and tricks you should follow.
Preparation of Model
Proper preparation of the model for resin 3D printing essentially enables one to save on material and time. The honeycomb imprint that is ideal for FDM is difficult to apply for SLA as excess resin liquid gets trapped in the hollow parts. To avoid weakening the print, we prefer draining it after printing. It may sometimes require one to perform it before slicing the model manually.
Proper Curing of the Print
Our experts at Creatingway recommend the curing of the print after drying for to come up with the best quality component. The ideal wavelength for the curing process is 405 nm, which you can luckily find in our curing chambers.
The guide above gives a comprehensive description of the post-processing options of the SLA products as well as some designing tips for coming up with the best quality SLA parts. If you have any further inquiries, kindly contact us know.
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