The innovative concept of additive manufacturing to achieve a complex and functional metallic part has attracted considerable interests in both industry and academia. Although a complex geometry can be fabricated by integrating thin metallic layers, the resulting rough surfaces and low tolerances of as-printed parts require additional steps for microstructure modification, physical and mechanical properties enhancement, and improvement of dimensional /form /surface to meet engineering design criteria. This presentation provides practical information to engineers and managers to quickly understand suitable and available post processes, compare them, and then select an optimal technique to enhance their additively manufactured metal components. Micro/macro scale machining, effect of tool coating and lubricant, finishing techniques for mirror finishing, and techniques to eliminate surface and volume defects while enhancing material properties will be presented. Examples from research work and published literature for micro milling, abrasive flow polishing, laser polishing and electrochemical polishing will be cited with results and recommended process parameters.
- Understand how the microstructure of 3D printed material is different from that of traditional material
- Know applicable post processing techniques to improve the microstructure and surface properties of 3D printed metals