SLA post-printing growing pains
As an early adopter of rapid prototyping and the first company in its region to embrace 3D printing, service bureau Empire Group has been enabling clients with faster prototype delivery times and increased productivity since 1999. Over the years, the company has expanded its offerings to include industrial design and engineering, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, and graphic design, while continually priding themselves on artistry and craftsmanship. Understanding the nuances of each material used within their shop, as well as the best finishing techniques, is critical to ensuring high product standards.
However, when it came to finishing Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed parts, Empire Group faced bottlenecks that prohibited them from finishing parts as quickly as they wished. Though SLA 3D printing is acclaimed for its highly accurate part builds and cost-effectiveness, there is still a myriad of post-printing challenges that this technology produces.
In the case of Empire Group, resin removal with solvents and manual labor escalated into a more critical issue as the company grew. While the workload and number of printers increased, it was obvious that without an automated solution, the amount of time dedicated to post-printing would as well.
To keep their additive workflow moving smoothly, they implemented the automated PostProcess™ DEMI™ resin removal solution with proprietary SLA-formulated detergent. The DEMI utilizes agitation algorithms for software-controlled technology to swiftly remove excess resin, even in the narrowest of channels. This patent-pending technology, Submersed Vortex Cavitation (SVC), ensures consistency and prevents part damage while software controls the process.
Delivering swift results
Developed specifically for additive manufacturing, PostProcess’s comprehensive solution delivered almost immediate benefits to Empire Group’s bottom line. The longevity of the PostProcess chemistry compared to the previously-used solvent (isopropyl alcohol) resulted in a quick positive ROI.
Empire Group has found the PostProcess DEMI to shine, especially when post-printing intricate parts or high-volume production of small parts. Now that they are able to handle resin removal in a fraction of the time and spend less downtime on chemistry change-outs, the engineers and technicians at Empire Group can direct their energy on more value-added task such as quoting out orders, performing maintenance, build tray optimization, and more.
PostProcess’s software-driven solution has unlocked improvements across the board for Empire Group, on average reducing their SLA post-printing times by at least 50%, sometimes more.
Katie Marzocchi, Marketing Manager at Empire Group, said, “We’ve been in the additive realm for quite a while now, and in just a short time, the DEMI has optimized our workflow in the ways that matter most. From improving our bottom line and enabling scalability within our operation to reducing lead times and passing cost-savings on to our customers, the PostProcess solution is essential in helping us deliver high-quality products and service every time. We look forward to continuing our growth as a cutting-edge product development company, now with the DEMI in our tool belt.”
PostProcess DEMI System
The DEMI Production Series Automated Support Removal Solution is a software-driven system with patent-pending technology using agitated flow combined with advanced ultrasonics, heat, and specially formulated detergents for consistent, hands-free support removal.