This paper aims to investigate the effect of post-processing techniques on dimensional accuracy of laser sintering (LS) of Nylon and Alumide® and fused deposition modelling (FDM) of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) materials.Design/methodology/approachAdditive manufacturing (AM) of test pieces using LS of Nylon and Alumide® powders, as well as the FDM of ABS materials, were first conducted. Next, post-processing of the test pieces involved tumbling, shot peening, hand finishing, spray painting, CNC machining and chemical treatment. Touch probe scanning of the test pieces was undertaken to assess the dimensional deviation, followed by statistical analysis using Chi-square and Z-tests.FindingsThe deviation ranges of the original built parts with those being subjected to tumbling, shot peening, hand finishing, spray painting, CNC machining or chemical treatment were found to be different. Despite the rounding of sharp corners and the removal of small protrusions, the dimensional accuracy of relatively wide surfaces of Nylon or Alumide® test pieces were not significantly affected by the tumbling or shot peening processes. The immersion of ABS test pieces into an acetone bath produced excellent dimensional accuracy.Research limitations/implicationsOnly Nylon PA2200 and Alumide® processed through LS and ABS P400 processed through FDM were investigated. Future work could also examine other materials and using parts produced with other AM processes.Practical implicationsThe service bureaus that produce prototypes and end-use functional parts through AM will be able to apply the findings of this investigation.Originality/valueThis research has outlined the differences of post-processing techniques such as tumbling, shot peening, hand finishing, spray painting, CNC machining and chemical treatment. The paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each of those methods and suggests that the immersion of ABS test pieces into an acetone bath produced excellent dimensional accuracy.
Rapid Prototyping Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 21, 2019
Keywords: Selective laser sintering; Fused deposition modelling; Dimensional accuracy; Post-processing; Nylon Alumide® ABS