3D printing solutions have rapidly taken off and are now in mainstream use for prototyping, product design, and parts manufacturing. The materials used in 3D printing additives manufacturing, including photopolymers, thermoplastics, metals, and ceramics, often produce layers and rough edges on parts. Typically, parts that are printed with 3D technology have complex geometries. For manufacturers, especially those in the aerospace and medical industries who utilize 3D technology to print highly precise parts, an additional step is required to produce a consistent, smooth finish. As an HP authorized partner, Guyson’s signature HP Jet Fusion parts finishing solution is the MultiBlast3D.
For those manufacturers who print with potentially explosive materials, Guyson also offers variations of its blast cabinets that are specifically engineered for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) market. If blasting stainless, aluminum, titanium or Inconel-built components, which are often used in the aerospace and medical AM sectors, many manufacturers understand that these exotic materials have the potential to create explosive dust when blasted. Guyson has engineered its blasting systems with special provisions to mitigate those risks. Guyson’s blast systems can be specified with a variety of options, appropriate to the level of perceived risk involved. These include: full earth braiding to the cabinet, gun, dust collector and hose, as well as ground nuts on all the main contact points to prevent any static spark generation. Anti-static fabric gauntlets allow the operator greater flexibility when blasting, preventing media escape. Systems feature externally located LED lighting for illumination of the blast area, to reduce the chance of a spark within the blast chamber.
Guyson’s blast cabinets feature a range of AM specified dust collectors with a host of features and options to minimize risks including an explosion relief valve, explosion isolation valve, secondary HEPA filtration, waste bin balance pipe that enables dust collection in a plastic bag (located in the collection bin hopper that can be quickly sealed on removal, minimizing dust in the open atmosphere), and a waste bin level sensor. Depending on the specific zone or environment, the AM dust collector range can be specified with an optional ATEX compliant motor, controls and switchgear.
Abrasive blasting of 3D prints can take just five to ten minutes, depending on the size of the print. Using precision nozzles and plastic bead media or sodium bicarbonate, the operator can easily reach tricky spots and achieve a uniform matte finish.
While 3D printing is transforming the production of prototypes and intricate parts, a certain amount of post-processing improves the aesthetics, prepares surfaces for applying paint or other coating and even increases product durability. Abrasive blasting provides a quick and precise method for finishing 3D prints and Guyson’s solutions are designed to get the job done with safety in mind.