The impact of mass customization enabled by additive manufacturing cannot be overstated. Custom athletic shoes and insoles are already disrupting the consumer market, and industry analysts predict that 3D printing will have a significant impact on the $100 billion per year eyewear industry. “Users increasingly expect to be able to purchase eyewear products that are tailor made for them,” said a market report from SmarTech. In medtech, the market for patient-specific products and implants has tremendous potential. This work presents a revolutionary automated post-processing technology that is driving the customization trend and provides insights on the tools manufacturers need to take advantage of it.
Finishing the Job Beyond Aesthetics! Performance and Sustainability through Automated Post-Processing
During the last decade, there has been a considerable growth in the production of end use polymer components via powder and extrusion based Additive Manufacturing methods. However, due to the nature of the layer by layer process used in additive manufacturing, quality, aesthetic and application issues remain, especially when compared to traditional manufacturing methods like injection molding. Current solutions to these issues mostly include labor-intensive post-processing that erodes many of the benefits of the digital additive manufacturing process thread.