In order to achieve the necessary specifications or improve properties such as surface quality, geometrical accuracy and mechanical properties, it is often necessary to post-process and finish components produced with Additive Manufacturing techniques.
The usual surface roughness values for selectively laser melted metal parts vary between 15 µm and 40 µm (Rz in X/Y direction). Most physical characteristics can be enhanced by adding well-established fabrication processes at the end of the AM process chain.
The high quality of metal products produced using AM processes enables the use of many metal-machining finishes to meet the requirements of surface quality and geometry.
Following removal of support structures to separate the parts from the build platform, the products can be milled, drilled, polished, etc. Internal surfaces, such as those in internal/tempering channels for example, can be polished using abrasive flow machining.
Heat treatment is often included in the process chain as well as shot peening which is used to improve the mechanical and tactile properties of the surface of AM parts.