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Post-processing in 3D printing with light-cured resins

The post-processing process is an inherent element of 3D printing using light-cured resins, aimed at refining the prints to achieve final quality and functionality. This multi-stage process requires the use of additional devices, tools and precautions.

The first step is, of course, the 3D printing itself. Using technologies such as SLA, DLP or UV LCD, the light-cured resin is shaped into a three-dimensional object. After printing, the parts are dipped in alcohol (usually isopropanol) to remove uncured resin from the surface. This rinsing is necessary to remove excess resin that may affect the detail and appearance of the final product. Alcohol effectively dissolves uncured residues, leaving a clean and smooth surface.

Then, the prints are illuminated with UV light, which ensures full hardening of the resin. This step is crucial to give the parts their final strength and stability. Illumination takes place in special UV exposure machines that evenly distribute the light on the surface of the object.

After hardening, the support structures are removed, if they were used in the printing process. This is a step that requires precision and caution. When cutting thin support structures, there is a risk that small pieces of resin may fly off, posing a risk to the eyes. Therefore, it is recommended to use eye protection during this process. The final stage is grinding and smoothing the print surface to obtain the desired quality and appearance. Sanding requires the use of sandpaper and potentially other tools for finer adjustments.

The post-processing process requires the use of specialized equipment, such as ultrasonic cleaners for thorough cleaning and UV exposure machines. In addition, tools such as spatulas, nippers and scissors must be cleaned regularly to avoid resin build-up, which could affect subsequent prints.

Post-processing in 3D printing from light-cured resins is a process that requires time, attention and appropriate tools. Every step, from rinsing to grinding, plays an important role in ensuring that the final product is of high quality and meets user expectations. Compliance with safety rules and proper use of devices are crucial for an effective and safe post-processing process. Large industrial 3D printing houses, such as Technology Applied, use 3D printing technology from light-cured resins to produce a wide range of products – it is used in industries such as automotive, aviation, medicine and jewelry.

Photo: www.ta.parts

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