Plastic Additive Manufacturing is a layer based process, which means that parts have a certain amount of ‘stepping’ and surface roughness when they come out of the machine (rather like that of an Extra Strong Mint!). This may be perfectly acceptable to some customers; however, others want their parts to have a smoother, more refined finish, or require them to be coloured, painted, vacuum metalised, plated or resin impregnated.
One of the primary tasks required before any finishing work can be carried out is to ‘dress’ the part to remove surface roughness, or the layering effect. Traditionally done by hand, this ‘rubbing down’ can be extremely labour – and cost – intensive.
However, the gentle action of our Vibro Finishing Machine removes the labour to obtain smooth parts with minimal time and cost being added. A 4 hour cycle is sufficient for large batches of small to medium sized parts, which is a considerable reduction from individual hand finishing, thus enabling our modelmakers to focus on the finer finishing requirements. The finished parts can be used in functional testing, assembly trials, product demonstrations and launches, or in marketing photography. Alternatively, they can be despatched direct to the customer without any further work, which is of particular benefit for applications such as fluid flow work.
Unlike more aggressive tumbling machines, this process can finish some of the internal features of components, such as holes and voids (although this does depend on the geometry). The only limitations to the process are that the largest size part that can fit into the machine is approx. 500mm x 300mm x 300mm, and very small features or delicate geometries may not be suitable and could be damaged or lost.
As this is a low cost batch process, economies of scale apply to multiple part orders, and there is usually just a one-off fee applied per batch/order. To obtain a quote for your vibro finishing requirements, please contact our Projects Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.