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On the way to 3D flexible post processing

3D-printing is an impressive technology which could potentially revolutionize design, production and the supply of parts. However, after printing the object still needs post processing which is time consuming. Brought together by InnovationQuarter and with support of the EU Interreg 2Seas Programme, 7 parties teamed up in taking the challenge to research, develop and implement an efficient and fast post processing solution.

On the way to 3D flexible post processing

Post processing solution

Everyone loves the idea to be able to think up a product, draw it out, push the button and have a beautiful object. Unfortunately, in reality this rarely happens. The object still needs post processing, like removal of struts and polishing. This post processing is the most time consuming process in the chain and therefore a costly step, especially for 3D metal printing.

InnovationQuarter helped set up a consortium for tackling these challenges. After the approval of the EU Interreg 2Seas Programme at the end of 2016, 7 parties teamed up in taking the challenge to research, develop and implement an efficient and fast post processing solution:

  • University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam
  • RDM Makerspace
  • Hittech Multin
  • 3T RPD
  • TNO Innovation for life
  • University of Exeter
  • Argon Measuring Solutions

Challenges of post processing

Each partner having the skill and expertise needed in tackling the 4 main issues that characterize the challenge:

  • flexible clamping of the object during production and post processing;
  • scanning and mapping the object for compliance with the specs;
  • translation to the CAD/CAM interface; and
  • control the polishing the surface of the object.

A prototype of the final setup will be integrated and tested on the demonstrator cases provided by the 24 observer parties supporting the research. The ultimate proof of combining high tech and knowledge into a smart and reliable post production capability.

With its capability to print free forms at high speed, with no waste, on demand and on the spot, we’re moving from mass production to mass customization. This project can bring a revolution in the world of additive manufacturing.

This film gives you an introduction of the project:

Starting up

InnovationQuarter helped set up this project when Senior Business Developer Jacqueline Schardijn picked up the signal that organisations weren’t interested to invest in metal additive manufacturing technique because of the hickups of post processing. By connecting the right partners and creating the right setting of trust and motivation, Jacqueline saw the opportunity to apply this project into the EU Interreg 2Seas Programme. At the end of 2016 the EU approved the project. Jacqueline also linked 4 use case holders to the project to make sure end users are involved who can benefit from the results.


Interested in this project?

Visit the project at their stand at the RapidPro expo on 7 and 8 of March in Veldhoven, where you can hear all about this project.