Metal Printing Finishing Processes / /
When a part undergoes finishing, it can achieve a professional surface finish. Finishing can add rust resistance, strength, metal conductivity and an improved appearance. Fathom’s finishing services include shot peening, electrochemical polishing, CNC finishing and more.
Abrasive Blast (Grit & Ceramic)
Abrasive blasting can remove imperfections, rust and other contaminants from a part’s surface. Abrasive blasting is often used to prepare a part for a coating application. Different abrasive blasting methods include micro-abrasive blasting, bristle blasting, bead blasting and more. Steel grit, silicon carbide, pumice and other abrasives are used for abrasive blasting.
Shot peening can enhance a part’s strength and reduce its stress profile. During shot peening, the part is hit with multiple shots that leave deformities on the part’s surface. The process adds a compressive stressed layer.
Optical polishing creates a microfinish or superfinish on a part’s surface in preparation for further processing. The process is best for projects with geometries in low quantities that are not tolerance dependent. Optical polishing is cost-effective and provides a brilliant finish.
Electrochemical polishing produces a mirror-like finish on metal parts. Electrochemical polishing can also be used to prepare a part of further finishing. The part is placed in an electrolytic solution with a copper or lead cathode during the process. The electric current moves through the solution, smoothing the part’s surface.
Abrasive Flow Machining
Abrasive flow machining can deburr and polish a part. During abrasive flow machining, a chemically inactive media works to polish the part and remove unwanted material.
Electroplating adds a metal layer to the outside of a part, increasing its strength and durability. Electroplating dissolves metal in an electrolytic solution and transfers it onto the part’s surface. Some of the most common metals used during electroplating are copper and zinc.
Micro Machining Process (MMP)
Micro machining uses great technical precision to preserve the geometries of a part while adding a mirror-like finish. During MMP, the part is mapped by a profilometer to generate a roughness profile. The component is then transitioned to the MMP envelope, where micro-milling cutters polish the part.
CNC finishing or machining adds wear resistance, metal conductivity, strength, rust resistance, etc. CNC finishing can improve a part’s appearance and prepare it for a final coating. Finishing may involve powder coating, bead blasting, passivation and anodizing.