Steps in the manufacturing process
The following video briefly explains the different steps that are performed during the SLM (3D metal printing) process.
1. RECEIPT OF THE CAD MODEL
In order to study the project, we need all the possible information about the part that you need to redesign or manufacture.
First, we receive the CAD model of the part, preferably in .step or .stl format .
If, in addition, we can see the whole assembly, we will better understand its functionality and we can propose some improvements to the part.
SLM technology achieves an average dimensional tolerance of +/- 0.2 mm and roughness between 6 and 10 Ra. If the piece has more restrictive dimensions, we need a drawing with these indications. These dimensions are achieved through post-processes (machining, polishing, etc.).
The process key factors are:
- Visible faces of the piece (where better aesthetic roughness is needed).
- Manufacturing material (Aluminum or Steel).
- Quantity of pieces or minimum batch of the project.
- Finishing required (if required).
2. DESIGN FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING (AM)
When preparing the model for manufacturing, we offer different design possibilities according to your needs.
A) Direct manufacture of the model received.
B) Make small modifications to improve the manufacture of the piece:
- reduction of supports.
- reduction of material.
C) New design to optimize additive manufacturing, reduce cost and improve functionality:
- Topological optimization
- Structural analysis.
3. ORIENTATION, SUPPORT AND DISTRIBUTION
Once the final design is obtained, the parts are positioned on the machine using the corresponding software.
The manufacturing orientation defines the post-processes and the final cost of the part.
Depending on this, the support structures will be placed in the cantilever areas.
The pieces are distributed on the plate (250x250x320) and the optimal parameters are chosen for the chosen material. In this way, manufacturing data (time, volume, etc.) are obtained.
4. ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
Normally, a sandblasting process is carried out to clean the part and improve the roughness.
Depending on the dimensional, functional or aesthetic needs of the piece, it is possible to carry out different post-processes.
To achieve the tightest tolerances it is necessary to carry out a machining operation.
To improve roughness, different polishing processes are carried out: manual, vibrated or electropolished.
It is possible to carry out different treatments to achieve aesthetic finishes: painted, chrome, etc.
6. FINAL DELIVERY
After carrying out the corresponding quality controls, the parts are sent to the customer.
If you have questions about the manufacturing process, you can go to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section or contact us directly.
After manufacturing, the pieces are separated and the supports are removed.